AskDefine | Define entree

Dictionary Definition



1 the principal dish of a meal [syn: main course]
2 the right to enter [syn: access, accession, admittance]
3 something that provides access (entry or exit); "they waited at the entrance to the garden"; "beggars waited just outside the entryway to the cathedral" [syn: entrance, entranceway, entryway, entry]
4 the act of entering; "she made a graceful entree into the ballroom"

User Contributed Dictionary

see Entree



  1. An alternative spelling of entrée.



entree f (plural entrees)
  1. entry (i.e. room behind front door)

Extensive Definition

An entrée (French, literally meaning entry or entrance) now refers to a smaller course that precedes the main course, except in North America, where it remains the main course.


In the United States and English Canada the entrée is a synonym for the main course. What is called an entrée elsewhere is called the first course, appetizer, or starter. In Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, chapter 40, bills of fare for a grand dinner for eighteen, January 1887, follow two kinds of fish and two kinds of soup with four entrés: Ris de Veau, Poulet à la Marengo, Côtelettes de Porc and a Ragoût of Lobster. Guests were not expected to eat of each dish, of course, for the entrée was followed by a Second Course and a Third Course, of game and fruit.
In its use outside of North America, an entrée is more substantial than hors d'œuvres and better thought of as a half-sized version of a main course, and restaurant menus will sometimes offer the same dish in different-sized servings as both entrée and main course.


The word entrée is French. It originally denoted the "entry" of the main course from the kitchens into the dining hall. In the illustration from a French fifteenth-century illuminated manuscript of the Histoire d'Olivier de Castille et d'Artus d'Algarbe, a fanfare from trumpeters in the musicians' gallery announces the processional entrée of a series of dishes preceded by a covered cup that is the ancestor of the tureen, carried by the maître d'hôtel. The entrée will be shown round the hall but served only to the high table (though it does not stand on a dais in this hall), where the guests are set apart by a gold-and-crimson damask canopy of estate.
In traditional French haute cuisine, the entrée preceded a larger dish known as the relevé, which "replaces" it, an obsolescent term in modern cooking, but still used as late as 1921 in Escoffier's Le Guide Culinaire.
entree in Bulgarian: Ордьовър
entree in German: Vorspeise
entree in Spanish: Aperitivo
entree in French: Recettes de hors d'œuvre et d'entrées
entree in Italian: Antipasto
entree in Japanese: オードブル
entree in Dutch: Voorgerecht
entree in Russian: Закуска

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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