July 30, 2012
- dinner (noun)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : the main meal of the day2 : banquet
- How do you use it?
- During the summer, dinner usually includes vegetables picked fresh from our garden.
- Are you a word wiz?
At the root of "dinner" is a word that is related to a different meal. Which other meal do you think that is?Believe it or not, the roots of "dinner" are in breakfast. That is, an ancestor of "dinner" is a Latin word meaning about the same thing as "breakfast." We trace "dinner" to a word in Anglo-French (the French language used in medieval England). That word is "disner" and it means "to dine" or "to have a meal." "Disner" itself probably comes from the Latin word "disjejunare" which means "to break one's fast." Breaking one's fast, of course, is what "breakfast" means. "Disjejunare" comes from the Latin words "dis-," meaning "do the opposite of," and "jejunare," meaning "to fast" or "to eat nothing."