Student Dictionary

One entry found for delicatessen.
Main Entry: del·i·ca·tes·sen
Pronunciation: secondarystressdel-i-kschwa-primarystresstes-schwan
Function: noun plural
Etymology: from obsolete German Delicatessen (now spelled Delikatessen) "specially prepared ready-to-eat foods," plural of Delicatesse "delicacy," from French délicatesse (same meaning), derived from Latin delicatus "delicate"
1 : ready-to-eat food products (as cooked meats and prepared salads)
2 singular, plural delicatessens : a store where delicatessen are sold
Word History We owe both the word delicatessen and the special food it represents to the German immigrants who came to this country toward the end of the 19th century. But although the food was originally German, the word was not. The Germans borrowed the word from the French. The obsolete German word delicatessen is a plural form of delicatesse and means "delicacies, ready-to-eat foods." This word was borrowed from the French word délicatesse, meaning "delicacy." In English, delicatessen originally meant only the specially-prepared food. In time, the delicatessen store where this food was sold came to be called a delicatessen, and a new meaning for the word was born. Now the word is often shortened to deli.

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