Definition of fête in US English:


(also fete)


North American
  • 1A celebration or festival.

    • ‘The ensemble is dressed all in red, dancing in pairs as though at a popular fête.’
    • ‘We explored the oldest protected rainforest, the soft coral reefs, and the all-night fêtes of the Caribbean's farthest reaches.’
    • ‘The following year the ‘Marseillaise’ was adopted as the national anthem, and the 14 July as a national fête, to join the tricolor as the national flag.’
    • ‘Édouard had never spoken of his son… never at our frequent fêtes, or at any of our great gatherings.’
    • ‘This garlic bouillon was classically made the day after a fête, being excellent for hangovers as well as soothing for convalescents.’
    • ‘It has been a difficult thing, arranging this fête.’
    • ‘January and February are the months of anticipation, listening to bands play at huge fêtes all over the island.’
    • ‘Plácido Domingo persuades the Met to revive Sly, an opera rarely seen since 1927 (then he doesn't really deliver); New York Festival of Song throws a splendid fête.’
    • ‘She plays Anne de Montausier, who arrives with King Louis XIV's court for a three-day fête.’
    • ‘Organizers expect upward of 300,000 visitors; the spectacular 10-day fête includes arts festivals, workshops, a Mardi Gras parade, and sports, health and youth events.’
    • ‘As for areas populated by those destined to remain at home during the summer, brides and grooms and their entourages tour local fêtes in which the loudspeakers are strategically placed to ensure no one is deprived of their blast.’
    • ‘Yet it is to my best recollection that it was not you I invited to make plans for my upcoming fête, but your dear sister.’
    • ‘It helps tremendously that Montrealers haven't yet felt the first pangs of festival fatigue - timing is everything in fête season, especially in film.’
    gala, gala day, garden party, bazaar, fair, feast, festival, fiesta, jubilee, pageant, carnival, funfair
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    1. 1.1British A public function, typically held outdoors and organized to raise funds for a charity, including entertainment and the sale of goods and refreshments.
      gala, gala day, garden party, bazaar, fair, feast, festival, fiesta, jubilee, pageant, carnival, funfair
      View synonyms


[with object]usually be fêted
  • Honor or entertain (someone) lavishly.

    ‘she was an instant celebrity, feted by the media’
    • ‘This is the 29th year that Caribbean culture is fêted in Montreal, a celebration coinciding with carnivals all over North America that took form after the emancipation of slaves in Trinidad and Tobago.’
    • ‘Each of the boys was awarded the Purple Heart for gallantry and their parents were fêted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House.’
    • ‘He was nonetheless fêted on his return home in September 1919, awarded five-star rank and served as COS between 1921-4 before retirement.’
    • ‘It's the usual story: we are fêted as heroines when we land at Edinburgh airport and then, within a few days, folk have forgotten our names.’
    • ‘Also leading the field is Chris van der Kuyl, who has been fêted as one of Scotland's leading young entrepreneurs.’
    • ‘What made things worse for Williamson was that the British Olympic Association had fêted her as a gold medal prospect.’
    • ‘But all this was only a prelude: the true celebration came Saturday night, when forty or so of my parents' friends joined us to fête David and Carée's engagement.’
    • ‘His first volume of poems, the Kilmarnock Edition of 1786, aroused great enthusiasm and he was fêted in Edinburgh social circles.’
    • ‘Scott is being fêted with the world premiere screenings of the 25th anniversary edition of Alien, his '79 horror-sci-fi-suspense masterpiece.’
    • ‘On his death last February, Miller was fêted as 20th-century America's greatest dramatist.’
    • ‘Despite being fêted as the greatest Shakespearean actor of his generation, he used to claim that he never understood a character until he found the right hat.’
    • ‘But Save Montreal shaped the city we know, so much so that last week city hall - its former foe - formally fêted its main dude Michael Fish.’
    • ‘After the UN meeting the African leaders were fêted by US businessmen.’
    • ‘She visited London in 1803, when she was fêted by the literary world, meeting, among others, Byron, Sydney Smith, Joanna Baillie, and Crabb Robinson.’
    • ‘But don't overdo the liqueurs - there are likely to be numerous toasts as the bard is fêted late into the night.’
    • ‘Yusuf was still fêted by the fashion writers - even though womenswear had been a commercial disaster.’
    • ‘During the dot-com boom, software engineers became celebrities, fêted by the press.’
    • ‘The Jesuit astronomers at the Roman college fêted him at a special conference.’
    • ‘The last suicide in the novel is not Anna's: it is that of a man, already being fêted as a hero by many, who wants to kill and die in the same breath.’
    • ‘He spent his remaining years dividing his time between Germany and Israel, where he was fêted and helped by Jews he had aided.’
    celebrate, fete, glorify, honour, bestow honour on, exalt, acclaim, admire, commend, sing the praises of, sound the praises of, praise, extol, applaud, hail, make a fuss of, make a fuss over, make much of, cry up, venerate, eulogize, sing paeans to, reverence, pay homage to, pay tribute to, put on a pedestal, hero-worship, worship, idolize, adulate
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Late Middle English (in the sense ‘festival, fair’): from French, from Old French feste (see feast).