Definition of delicatessen in US English:



  • A store selling cold cuts, cheeses, and a variety of salads, as well as a selection of unusual or foreign prepared foods.

    • ‘The famed preserved lemons can be found in many delicatessens.’
    • ‘Many supermarkets, butcher shops, delicatessens and gourmet food stores spit-roast chickens right on the premises.’
    • ‘In delicatessens, it is customary to offer sample tastes of foods as part of the exchange process.’
    • ‘Close to Stockbridge with its excellent range of delicatessens, eateries and boutiques, the apartments are also well-placed for supermarkets.’
    • ‘Patisseries, delicatessens, cafés, boulangeries and newsagents fully operational by 6.30 am and still going strong at nine at night.’
    • ‘Mixed in with the towering mansion blocks are a veritable bevy of posh cafés and delicatessens with plenty of pavement for sitting outside even in these autumn months.’
    • ‘As tastes for more exotic and specialist foods become more commonplace - the delicatessens that brought them here originally are going out of business.’
    • ‘Its central streets boast an eclectic mix of gift shops, boutiques, delicatessens, old-style butchers and bakers plus a high-quality art gallery and fantastic bookshop.’
    • ‘We may produce much first-rate food, but there are few really good delicatessens.’
    • ‘We also supply lots of local delicatessens farm shops and we also trade at farmers markets.’
    • ‘Food shops, butchers, bakers, delicatessens and chocolatiers will also be there, promoting the finest produce from England's biggest and most diverse food region.’
    • ‘Bastille Day at the Buffet is a full-day feast of fine wines, fine cheeses, fresh baguettes, escargot and delicatessens that make the mouth water.’
    • ‘Born and educated in Wales, she came to Edinburgh in 1985 to study chartered accountancy at Napier University, baking products to sell to delicatessens to fund her studies.’
    • ‘Much of that new spending will be on personal luxuries, with a growth in gourmet delicatessens, luxury coffee bars and designer boutiques.’
    • ‘It is available in good delicatessens throughout the state.’
    • ‘The brothers plan to market the new pies across the region through delicatessens, farm shops and butchers' shops, and at food events and agricultural shows across the country.’
    • ‘However, the traditional herb cheese made with a species of wild garlic gathered in the mountains is as popular as ever, and can be found in delicatessens in Turkey's major cities.’
    • ‘They can be found in health and wholefood shops, and some delicatessens and supermarkets.’
    • ‘I have already mentioned the Covered Market with its interesting boutiques, array of eating establishments, delicatessens and florists.’
    • ‘Most of us really now only come across them in the form of Membrillo, the Spanish quince paste which is so excellent with cheese and found in most good delicatessens.’


Late 19th century (originally US, denoting prepared foods for sale): from German Delikatessen or Dutch delicatessen, from French délicatesse ‘delicateness’, from délicat (see delicate).