Definition of antipasto in US English:



  • (in Italian cooking) an appetizer typically consisting of olives, anchovies, cheeses, and meats.

    • ‘The menu is padded on both ends with a wide choice of antipasti, the stand-outs being the assorted antipasti platter and caesar salad, and entrees that cover all the bases of Italian cuisine.’
    • ‘And if you are in NYC this Sunday, do join us in the bar area at Otto around 5pm - we will be there, drinking Italian wine and nibbling on antipasti!’
    • ‘It's an ambience that fosters sharing; the best way to approach the enticing array of antipasti and snacks that precede the pizza and complement a voluminous all-Italian wine list.’
    • ‘Every couple of weekends we'd go to the Italian market, load up on sausages, polenta, antipasti, bread, cheese and so on, and then find an excuse to throw a party in our otherwise character-free apartment.’
    • ‘The menu for one of the meals included home-cooked antipasti of salumi (cooked meats) with freshly baked bread, asparagus risotto, chicken with olives or wild boar stew, followed by freshly picked peaches with ice cream.’
    • ‘The Italian book, also released recently, has sections on antipasti, pasta, risotto, gnocchi, fish, meat and finally puddings.’
    • ‘Sneaking into the mantra is additional description of ‘unlimited delicious antipasti, pastas, fish, meat, bruschetta, vegetables, desserts and more’ - ever heard of that idea before?’
    • ‘A glance over the menu had the unfortunate side effect of exposing my own ignorance of the Italian language, although the helpful English translation made it clear that both antipasti and pasta were needed to do this menu justice.’
    • ‘The menu reflects the current fad for small plates, but it does so in unusual and uncategorizable ways: Not strictly tapas or antipasti, these tidbits derive inspiration from around the globe.’
    • ‘Though main course dishes change daily, items such as the antipasto, green salad, herbal tea or coffee, soft drinks and dessert are standard.’
    • ‘Next up are four pastas followed by ten starters with such favourites as Italian ham and salami antipasto, chicken liver pate and smoked salmon with capers and onions.’
    • ‘It's not just a cocktail but an experience, with most bars offering snacks and antipasti to keep you going until your meal.’
    • ‘On Saturday evening there was a banquet with antipasti, sausage, pasta, prosciutto, cheese, salad, dessert, and lots of wine.’
    • ‘It's impossible to imagine an important meal without a full range of these meats being offered as antipasti and they are the foundation of the wonderful panini which are the real fast-food of Italy.’
    • ‘We had cocktails in the Eagle first then wine and antipasti in a cosy Italian cucina near Sadlers.’
    • ‘The seafood antipasti alone would justify the visit.’
    • ‘To my shock, the Italian snob at my table enjoyed her sautéed-sea-scallop antipasti, which was served with shavings of Parmesan on baby artichokes and black-trumpet mushrooms.’
    • ‘The waitress, Antonia, comes out and tells us what's on offer today: a choice of three dishes for the antipasti and three for the primi piatti.’
    • ‘Even before it served its first antipasto, this reservations-free Italian joint had perfected the fundamentals of the BYOB genre.’
    • ‘The very young couple cooked an awesomely appropriate meal for us, a series of little ancient Italian pasta dishes, antipasto, and three flavors of ice cream for desert.’
    starter, canapé, first course, finger food, titbit, savoury, snack
    View synonyms


Italian, from anti- ‘before’ + pasto (from Latin pastus ‘food’).