Definition of meze in US English:


(also mezze)


  • In the Mediterranean, an appetizer.

    ‘sit down to a Cyprus meze and a glass of wine’
    • ‘Our host recommended the house speciality, a selection of mezes for two people for £15 each, but in the interests of research we decided to opt for different starters and main courses.’
    • ‘Once you reach your resort, be sure not to miss the typical Cypriot meze.’
    • ‘When people eat out they often order meze, a large collection of small dishes starting with various dips and salads and ending with grilled meat or fish.’
    • ‘The traditional meze, a leisurely eating out experience, is short for mezedhes or ‘little delicacies’, comprising between 20 and 30 dishes accompanied by bread and salad with fresh fruit to finish.’
    • ‘It serves some of the best meze I've ever tasted and after dinner you can sip a strong Syrian coffee while passing round the nargila.’
    • ‘Turkey is also famous for its appetizers, called meze, made from meat, fish, and vegetables.’
    • ‘Pretend they are meze and order all four anyway.’
    • ‘The long menu runs from Mexican nachos with refried beans to Indian thalis, Greek salads and Middle Eastern meze.’
    • ‘For starters there are forty-two different kinds of mezes, cold dishes, soups and salads all for a modest £2.95 each.’
    • ‘The Turks serve this as a meze with strips of warm pitta.’
    • ‘Later on I got to see Onur once again before going out with Hanko, Andrea and Claudia for meze and kebabs - how oh so Turkish of us, huh?’
    • ‘Vicky and I decided to start with meze, a selection of the staple starters Nargile has to offer.’
    • ‘Arabian food includes a lot of spiced lamb and rice, seafood such as tuna and hammour, Lebanese-style mezes, bite-size snacks called falafels, made from chickpeas, and shwarma, a lamb or chicken wrap.’
    • ‘Odd, since Turkish may very well be the original Med-rim cuisine. We think of the kebab as Afghan, feta as Greek, meze as Lebanese, tahini as Israeli, but all of these foods and flavors are integral to the Turkish kitchen.’
    • ‘Having lived in Turkey for nearly six years, I focused on the Turkish-inspired meze (appetizers).’
    • ‘The food and wine were great, the music outstanding and the fact you can chill for 4 hours enjoying your meze with no mention of you leaving your spot so that another diner can sit down - unbelievable.’
    • ‘Pasha continues the winning streak with its carefully made meze, the bright-tasting first courses that are so much fun to eat, and its deftly grilled kebabs of lamb and chicken.’
    • ‘In both countries, a night of fine dining would begin with appetizers: meze in Turkish and mezedes in Greek.’
    • ‘You can gobble it whole, or dip it in a bowl of tzatziki, or enjoy it in tandem with any one of fifteen inventive varieties of meze.’
    • ‘Apart from the fact that there was delicious meze there was also quite a lot of wine, and we had several deep and meaningful conversations about relationships that I can't exactly remember today.’
    • ‘We had eaten the evening before at the celebrated Zeitoun in the old city, where they serve the most spectacular mezes and delicious Lebanese wine.’
    • ‘The original meze of Persia appear to have been tart fruits, such as pomegranates, quinces, and citrons, designed to alleviate the bitter taste left by unripe wine.’
    • ‘Afterwards, we continued to enjoy watching the dolphins entertain guests from the deck of Corals Restaurant, a delightful indoor/outdoor bistro specializing in Mediterranean mezes only 20 feet away from the dolphin pool.’
    • ‘You can make a meal of meze along with the excellent freshly baked flatbread that washes up on the table like a puffy, sesame-crusted raft.’
    • ‘Paul Gayler's excellent Mediterranean Cook is divided regionally and has some good unusual dishes like vegetarian meze, churros, gaufrette and tian (Jacqui Small, £18.99).’
    • ‘Local dishes are delicious, particularly the meze, a specialty of Cyprus that consists of a large number of cold and hot hors d' oeuvres such as salads, meats, vegetables, and fish dishes.’
    • ‘To accompany my meze I couldn't do anything else but to go for a Troyanska Slivova Rakia, for which this region is famous.’
    • ‘Other meals can begin with meze served with rakia (fruit brandy).’
    • ‘Kinzer also logged plenty of evenings in the Turkish bistros called meyhanes eating meze, or small plates of appetizers, and consuming raki, the Turkish national beverage.’
    • ‘Serve as a dip as part of a meze or as an accompaniment to grilled meats or fish.’
    • ‘Our table was groaning with plates of meze and dressed with chilled bottles of Villa Doluca (the ubiquitous vin de table of Turkey).’
    • ‘Alternatively, ask for meze which gives you a taste of all those dishes with a smattering of fried squid and fasolia, cooked beans with tomato and herbs.’
    • ‘The same could be said for the food, which is ingeniously served on food sticks - chunky, hollowed-out planks housing various meze, Thai and world fusion foods.’
    • ‘You can sample wine, nibble on meze and hobnob with friendly locals.’


From Turkish, literally ‘appetizer’, from Persian maza ‘to relish’.