Dinner

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Dinner used to be the name of the main meal of the day. However, depending upon culture, it may now be the second, third or fourth meal of the day.[1] Originally, it referred to the first meal of the day, eaten about noon, and is still occasionally used in this fashion if it refers to a large or main meal.

Contents

Etymology

Originally, dinner referred to the first meal of a two-meal day, a heavy meal occurring about noon, which broke the night's fast in the new day. The word is from the Old French (ca 1300) disner, meaning "breakfast", from the stem of Gallo-Romance desjunare ("to break one's fast"), from Latin dis- ("undo") + Late Latin ieiunare ("to fast"), from Latin ieiunus ("fasting, hungry").[2][3] Eventually, the term shifted to referring to the heavy main meal of the day, even if it had been preceded by a breakfast meal. The (lighter) meal following dinner has traditionally been referred to as supper or tea.

Which meal is it?

In some usages, the term dinner has continued to refer to the largest meal of the day, even when this meal is eaten at the end of the day and is preceded by two other meals. In this terminology, the preceding meals are usually referred to as breakfast and lunch. In some areas, this leads to a variable name for meals depending on the combination of their size and the time of day, while in others meal names are fixed based on the time they are consumed. However, even in systems in which dinner is the meal usually eaten at the end of the day, an individual dinner may still refer to a main or more sophisticated meal at any time in the day, such as a banquet, feast, or a special meal eaten on a Sunday.

Usually, dinner is the last meal of the day, eaten from 5:30 PM onwards.

See also

Notes

External links


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