Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n.pl. Chiefly British Tea or coffee taken at midmorning and often accompanied by a snack.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A snack or that is similar to afternoon tea, but eaten in the late morning.

Etymologies

From dialectal elevens ("the eleven-o'clock meal"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • One of the first Swedish words any new visitor learns is fika, which means a coffee break, usually enjoyed with a little cake or pastry, much like the British term elevenses but with no time restriction.

    NYT > Home Page

  • "elevenses" - tea sipped while resting on the garden benches.

    BellaOnline - The Voice of Women

  • If you are among those who desperately need a coffee break, then go for it at 11 am, as scientists claim a formula they have devised proves that 'elevenses' is the best time to drink your brew.

    Hindustan Times News Feeds 'Views'

  • Food will be served from breakfast, and Mr. Gulliver hopes elevenses, a traditionally British snack taken as a stopgap between breakfast and lunch, will make a comeback, and that the bar will be open late.

    Not So Down and Out in London

  • His wife Angie was at work in London and the great man was on the wagon and in gleaming good form; he had knocked off half the Telegraph crossword already and had brewed the elevenses coffee.

    Tears for souvenirs as Best and Stiles memorabilia go up for auction

  • They're perfectly edible though and I've been taking one (buttered) to work each day for my elevenses.

    skittledog: Ever notice how everything you make just tends to lean a little to the left?

  • Plus, we've always been a grazing, snacking culture – look at our eating opportunities, we have more than anyone else: breakfast, elevenses, lunch, tea, high tea, supper, dinner ...

    Crisps: a very British habit

  • A slither of banana and honey breakfast loaf presents a delicious answer to desk-bound elevenses, says Lynn Enright.

    Breakfast Blog: Day 3

  • I promise it is fantastic: and I forgot to mention my other NY resolution; to celebrate the best of British dining habits by eating elevenses and afternoon tea each day.

    POMEGRANATE AND NINE-BEAN CHOCOLATE

  • Then of course I stop at regular intervals to celebrate brekkie, elevenses, luncheon, tea, dinner, supper.

    fall back

Comments

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  • See additional comments on elevensies.

    November 12, 2010

  • "neck muscles; splenius.
    P 108–170 'Oh, poor man, his elevenses are up.' this means a person is fading, not long for this world, because the two muscles in the back of the neck stick out like two bones resembling 11."
    Dictionary of Newfoundland English, 163

    October 17, 2008