One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(in the Roman Catholic Church) denoting a day on which abstinence from meat is ordered.
- ‘The dinner was on a maigre-day, and consisted of "salt salmons, porpus, fresh sturgeon, roast eels, perches, boiled grabs [crabs], buttered eggs, apples, and oatmeal, with twelve gallons of cream."’
- ‘Next day he dined at Breteuil on 'fried mackerel and an omelette (being maigre day again there was nothing else to be had) and a bottle of bad wine' for all of which he was overcharged.’
- 1.1 (of food) suitable for eating on maigre days.‘for fast days a soupe maigre was made’
- ‘The thus-obtained shark-fin-like edible product has almost the same appearance and properties as natural shark fins as well as being superior in colour, shape, taste and feeling properties such as elasticity, and can be widely used as a material for maigre and Chinese dishes.’
- ‘When maigre feasts are arranged in these mountains, whether one be cleric or layman, man or woman, great or small, food is offered to all equally.’
Late 17th century: from French, literally ‘lean’.
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