What is dinner

What is Dinner?


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It’s true we all are acquainted with the word Dinner but how many of us really know what is Dinner? Probably you are confused regarding this question. You might be thinking it is a silly question whereas every one of us know the answer. Right? Ok, let me clarify this.

Usually we think that the food we take in the evening time is known as dinner. But many of us do not know that there are some controversies about the term “Dinner”. So let’s see.

Contents in this article


The word “Dinner” is a noun which means it’s only a name that specifies a time when we need to take our meal.

What is dinner


According to the Oxford Dictionary the word dinner means the chief or main meal that is taken in the midday or in the evening. The word also means that a formal evening meal, typically one in honor of a person or event.[1] Cambridge dictionary says, dinner means the main meal of the day, usually the meal that we eat in the evening but sometimes in Britain, the meal eaten in the middle of the day.[2] As per Online Etymology Dictionary the word dinner always used in English for the main meal of the day.[3]

Origin of the word

The word dinner is derived from the Old French word “disner” which was meant as breakfast (to break one’s fasting). So, we can find that dinner was the first meal of the day that was taken around noon. It was the biggest meal of the day. The lighter meal was known as supper.

In due course of time, more meals were added to the day that people started to take before dinner. These earlier meals broke the fast and started to be considered as breakfast (dinner). Then the word “dinner” has been started to be considered as the main meal of the day at later time of a day.[4]

Dinner or Lunch

The word Dinner is considered or can be interchanged with the word “lunch” in some parts of the world. So, we can say dinner does not mean the time of a meal. It depends on where we are, it can be meant as midday food or the food that is taken in the evening.

But one thing is common to all over of the world that is, dinner is considered as the main meal or food of the day. Now the question is that, if anyone ask you to have a dinner with him/her how could you know what time does she offers you? My answer is, it will depend on where you are.

UK Conception

In the UK the manifestation of dinner was in the middle age being known as “Cena”, Latin for dinner. The nobility used to eat formal and lavish dinners at noon. Yeldham says that they were showy of displaying wealth and power, with cooks working in the kitchen from dawn to get things ready.

Cooking dinner in evening with no electricity was not possible. Farmers ate dinner around midday too. When the artificial lighting spread, the people started to eat dinner later in the day.  The working lunch started in the 17th century.

The middle and lower classes’ eat by following a pattern and time were changed according to their working hours. Most people started to eat three meals a day in towns and cities by the 18th Century as Day says. Dinner had been pushed into evening or started to be considered as evening meal by the early 19th Century.[5]

US Conception

It can be at noon or in the evening. Previously it was considered as the first meal of the day around noon. Dinner is taken as the evening meal in the western world.  In parts of United States dinner means the evening meal that can be interchanged with supper.

In the South Parts of America during farming tradition the people took heavy food at noontime to get the strength for the whole day. The word supper has derived from “to sup”. It is derived from farming tradition. The people used to prepare the soup and would take in the evening.

Simply, we can say that they would sup the soup. It should be noticed that, supper is a lighter evening meal. But dinner is the heavier meal of the day. When a large number of Americans started to do work far away from home it was not possible for them to return at home so they shifted their main meal in the evening. From this view, we can say that dinner is the main meal of the day that we take in the evening.

Dinner is the evening meal

Nowadays dinner is considered as the evening meal to the people of the modern world. For instance, Candle Light Dinner is more popular and fascinating words to the modern people. It is also clear that dinner is heavier than any other meal of the day and is taken in the evening.

So we can consider Dinner as the evening meal to the mass people that should be taken by 5 to 7 pm. If eat later than the usual time it can be considered as late dinner. And to me, dinner means the evening and heavier meal of the day.

What we should eat at dinner time

It is considered to all that we must take heavy food at dinner time as it gives us the full strength. So we do not have any option to underestimate the meal in our dinner time. We must be aware of the food that we are taking at dinner time as how much it is helpful for our body.

So we must know about the nutrition values of food that we take at dinner. We need to know what types of food we need for our body at dinner time. If you are having your dinner only to filling up our empty stomach. I would say to you all that dinner may not come as the only purpose of filling of our empty stomach with only tastier food that do not have any food value. I expect that we all will take our dinner that does not only fulfill our stomach, it also gives us the assurance of good health with healthy food.

I hope that this writing may help those who have confusion or any question about what is dinner or which meal can be considered as dinner and also for those who are highly interested in cooking and want to know the A B C D of dinner. Dear reader, to know the difference between Dinner vs Diner, follow my next content- Dinner or diner.

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By Post : Jun 30, 2018

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