Definitions

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

  • n. An appetizer served before a meal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small, light, and usually savory first course in a meal.
  • n. Anything of secondary concern; not the primary one.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a dish served as an appetizer before the main meal

Etymologies

French hors d'œuvre : hors, outside + de, of + œuvre, (the main) work.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French hors d'œuvre (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • These he calls a hors d'oeuvre of some pious copyist.

    Letters

Comments

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  • It simply means an "appetizer" but the funny thing about this word is that it sounds almost like the English "order" pronounced with a French accent.

    August 21, 2008

  • literally meaning "outside the work"
    I find this definition adds greatly to my love of the word. I am ashamed to say I have used this word all my life and I never really knew what I was saying...the French language is filled with these beautiful descriptive nouns. Another case in point pomme de terre.

    April 30, 2008

  • Haha! Clever, oroboros. :-)

    August 20, 2007

  • Working women du nuit?

    August 16, 2007