AskDefine | Define dessert

Dictionary Definition

dessert n : a dish served as the last course of a meal [syn: sweet, afters]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • (UK): /dɪˈzɜːt/, /dI"z3:t/
  • (US): , /dɪˈzɝt/, /dI"z3`t/



  1. A sweet confection served as the last course of a meal.



sweet confection served as the last course of a meal








  1. dessert



  1. dessert

Extensive Definition

distinguish Desert Dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal, usually consisting of sweet food but sometimes of a strongly-flavored one, such as some cheeses. The word comes from the Old French desservir, "to clear the table." Common desserts include cakes, cookies, fruits, pastries, ice cream, and candies. The word dessert is most commonly used for this course in U.S., Canada, Australia, and Ireland, while sweet, pudding or afters would be more typical terms in the UK and some other Commonwealth countries, including India. According to Debrett's, pudding is the proper term, dessert is only to be used if the course consists of fruit, and sweet is colloquial. This, of course, reflects the upper-class/upper-middle-class usage. More commonly, the words simply form a class shibboleth; pudding being the upper-class and upper-middle-class word to use for sweet food served after the main course, sweet, afters and dessert being considered non-U. However, dessert is considered slightly better than the other two, owing to many young people, whose parents say pudding, acquiring the word from American media.
Although the custom of eating fruits and nuts after a meal may be very old, dessert as a standard part of a Western meal is a relatively recent development. Before the rise of the middle class in the 19th-century, and the mechanization of the sugar industry, sweets were a privilege of the aristocracy, or a rare holiday treat. As sugar became cheaper and more readily available, the development and popularity of desserts spread accordingly.
Some have a separate final sweet course but mix sweet and savoury dishes throughout the meal as in Chinese cuisine, or reserve elaborate dessert concoctions for special occasions. Often, the dessert is seen as a separate meal or snack rather than a course, and may be eaten apart from the meal (usually in less formal settings). Some restaurants specialize in dessert. In colloquial American usage "dessert" has a broader meaning and can refer to anything sweet that follows a meal, including milkshakes and other beverages.


External links

dessert in Aragonese: Postre
dessert in Bulgarian: Десерт
dessert in Czech: Dezert
dessert in Danish: Dessert
dessert in German: Dessert
dessert in Spanish: Postre
dessert in Esperanto: Deserto
dessert in Persian: دسر
dessert in French: Dessert
dessert in Korean: 후식
dessert in Indonesian: Hidangan penutup
dessert in Italian: Dessert
dessert in Hebrew: קינוח
dessert in Dutch: Dessert
dessert in Japanese: デザート
dessert in Norwegian: Dessert
dessert in Polish: Deser
dessert in Portuguese: Sobremesa
dessert in Russian: Десерт
dessert in Simple English: Dessert
dessert in Slovak: Dezert
dessert in Serbian: Десерт
dessert in Finnish: Jälkiruoka
dessert in Swedish: Efterrätt
dessert in Chinese: 甜品

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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