Definition of aperitif in English:


Pronunciation /əˌpɛrɪˈtiːf//əˈpɛrɪtiːf/


  • An alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite.

    • ‘Slip off your shoes when you get home, fling open the windows, pour an aperitif and cook something that makes you feel as if you are in a buzzy tapas bar, on the deck of a yacht or on the terrace of a French café.’
    • ‘Don't be put off by the burnt, sharp aroma - this has a light, peppery, slightly sweet taste and makes a fine aperitif.’
    • ‘With 12.5 per cent alcohol, this pleasing white works best as an aperitif and without food.’
    • ‘The dinner was progressing slowly, almost formally, with aperitifs, appetizers, and now soups.’
    • ‘Old and new world wines complement dinner, and aperitifs and after-dinner drinks are served in the airy drawing room beside the turf fires.’
    • ‘I like to have two types of bubbles to hand at Christmas: a cheapie for Buck's fizz and impromptu parties and a decent Champagne to drink as an aperitif before lunch.’
    • ‘We settled back in the covered patio area and had a cocktail as an aperitif, while perusing the menu.’
    • ‘Sekt in Gemany and Austria is largely made from Riesling, yielding fruit-driven and light wines that are terrific aperitifs.’
    • ‘It is a very dry wine best drunk as an aperitif, and served slightly chilled.’
    • ‘Sipping an unhurried aperitif, the menu not only makes your mouth water, it brings tears of joy to the eyes.’
    • ‘It would also double as an aperitif if you don't like sparkling wines.’
    • ‘And various experiments have shown that drinking an aperitif increases both the time spent eating and the number of calories consumed at a sitting.’
    • ‘Start off your meal with an aperitif in the spacious rear courtyard of the renovated French villa, which attracts a mixture of expats and locals prowling for a break from street corner fare.’
    • ‘After an aperitif of homemade orange vodka, a little organic wine is drunk and everyone is in high spirits.’
    • ‘Take advantage of that moment and suggest an aperitif in the form of a sparkling wine.’
    • ‘With a champagne aperitif, a modest bottle of wine and liqueurs, a family of four could spend well in excess of £600.’
    • ‘In fact, they were right in keeping with the decor of whitewashed walls and a jumble of French posters advertising long-forgotten wines and aperitifs.’
    • ‘After aperitifs - sherry for Vicky and white port for me - we were brought what was described as ‘celery cappuccino’.’
    • ‘More like a liqueur than an aperitif (although it is deceptively sweet), only the unwary would approach it with abandon.’
    • ‘Whiskey, aperitifs and wine were on hand, with some local beer thrown in for good measure.’


Late 19th century: from French apéritif, from medieval Latin aperitivus, based on Latin aperire ‘to open’.