Definition of sherbet in US English:



  • 1A frozen dessert made with fruit juice added to milk or cream, egg white, or gelatin.

    • ‘Sorbet is presently one of the most popular frozen desserts and has surpassed the popularity of sherbet.’
    • ‘That day's menus also included an evening snack of orange sherbet and graham crackers.’
    • ‘If you can't resist dessert, though, choose fresh fruit, gelatin, sorbet, sherbet, fruit ice, meringues or plain cake with fruit purée.’
    • ‘Remember when choosing an ice cream boiled down to vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, or orange sherbet?’
    • ‘Puree mangoes in a food processor or blender and drizzle over rice pudding, angel food cake, sherbet or low fat frozen yogurt.’
    • ‘The company also produces reduced fat and fat-free ice cream and sherbet for the health - conscious consumer.’
    • ‘Orange and cream, for instance, is reminiscent of a popular frozen novelty, the orange creamsicle - vanilla ice cream coated with orange sherbet.’
    • ‘Sold in translucent pints, they include Orange Swirl, which combines vanilla ice cream with orange sherbet, and Raspberry Swirl, a mixture of vanilla ice cream and raspberry sherbet.’
    • ‘The sunshine state continues to be the largest manufacturer of ice-cold desserts - California led the nation in production of regular ice cream and sherbet.’
    • ‘I muttered, grabbing the remnants of some strawberry ice cream, some orange sherbet, and some pistachio ice cream out of their respective containers and dumping the spoonfuls into a large bowl.’
    • ‘Include skim milk, low fat custard and pudding, gelatin, sherbet, fruit juice, cooked refined cereals, and cream soups made with skim milk.’
    • ‘Ice cream, sherbet, cookies and other sweet treats often come in no-fat or low-fat varieties.’
    • ‘Trade high-fat ice cream with low-fat frozen yogurt, sherbet or sorbet.’
    • ‘Mango sherbet appears as a wall of lime green with thin wavy strips of cherry red.’
    • ‘When you want something cold and sweet, swap high-fat ice cream with frozen bananas, grapes and orange slices, or low-fat or nonfat frozen yogurt, ice milk or sherbet.’
    • ‘Low-fat means sorbet, ices, frozen yogurt, sherbet, or low-fat ice cream.’
    • ‘She peeked into the freezer, smiling a little to herself: the sherbet still sat there, four small spheres tastefully arranged in each of the two fluted dessert goblets.’
    • ‘Noah just pretended like nothing happened and tried to find where they kept the tubs of frozen fruit sherbet.’
    • ‘Novelties include Fudge Bars and Orange & Raspberry Fruit & Cream Bars, which combine low fat ice cream with fruit sherbet.’
    • ‘Arrange in bowl in roughly this order: waffle pieces, fruits around edge, sherbet in the middle, honey on top’
    1. 1.1North American A frozen fruit juice and sugar mixture served as a dessert or between courses of a meal to cleanse the palate.
      • ‘To refresh our taste buds, Fredi then presented us with a sherbet from imported passion fruit.’
      • ‘After a mangosteen sherbet as a palate cleanser, we were then presented with whole roasted beef tenderloin in a red wine butter sauce.’
      • ‘Then we were taken ‘up north’ for a most unusual Japanese sake wine sherbet, served as a palate cleanser.’
      ice cream
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (especially in Arab countries) a cooling drink of sweet diluted fruit juices.
      • ‘True to their tradition, sugar was often added and the kadi often tasted like sherbet.’
      • ‘The Crusaders then took it to Europe, while the Ottoman Turks began using it creatively in rice dishes, puddings, pastries, jams, sherbets, syrups and a large variety of sweets.’
      • ‘Indeed, you can never leave an Indian household without gaining a few ounces, for you will certainly be plied with some snacks, some tea at the very least, or a glass of cold rose sherbet in the heat of summer.’
      • ‘In rural areas, lassis and sherbets appeal to people of all ages.’
      • ‘So were the gulab-based sherbets which can be taken both during summer and winter.’
    3. 1.3British A flavored sweet effervescent powder eaten alone or made into a drink.
      • ‘The noise caused Ally to look up and when she saw all the crisps, chocolate, marshmallows, sherbet and other such things she pounced on Luke to get them.’
      • ‘The powder turned pink in the water so I knew it wasn't sherbet.’
      • ‘I didn't even want to wander to my local newsagents and buy those brilliant sweets he does, you know, the licorice sticks with sherbet on the inside.’
      • ‘It sold everything you would remember from the penny tray and I laughed in the face of my dentist and bought a sherbet dab, sherbet fountain and a bag of flying saucers.’
      • ‘My granddad and uncle worked together in a sweet factory, so always had a healthy supply of coconut ice, jelly babies and sherbet dip.’
      • ‘For breakfast I had an orange and the remains of a bread roll I'd brought from this little supermarket the previous evening, washed down with a little mineral water which fizzed on my tongue like sherbet.’
      • ‘Back at home we would help ourselves to as much icing sugar as we could get away with borrowing from the pantry, and mix it with the acid to make our own giant-sized bags of sherbet.’
      • ‘We all mixed sherbet with water and planted licorice allsorts in pursuit of Dahl's peculiar brand of alchemy.’
      • ‘From aniseed balls, butter Brazils and Grays tea cakes, to chocolate Turkish delight, sherbets and rhubarb and custard, the list of taste bud-tickling treats on sale is endless.’
      • ‘From its rose-petal nose to the sherbet, passion fruit and banana flavours therein, this must be the perfect wine to go with spicy Asian food.’
      • ‘I caught the scent of sherbet: Celia had left a bag of the sweet stuff on my desk yesterday.’
      • ‘‘We used to buy sherbet rolled in newspaper for a ha'penny that had a piece of liquorice coming out of the top,’ said Mr Taylor.’
      • ‘A sherbet powder was produced which could either be made into a fizzy drink, or sucked into the mouth, where it would likewise fizz.’
      • ‘The inviting assortment of goodies include acid drops, sherbet lemons, sherbet pips, coconut mushrooms, cinder toffee, Yorkshire mixtures, liquorice sticks, and lollies of all flavours under the sun.’
      • ‘Passion-fruit is also used in sherbets and confectionery, ice cream and yoghurt.’
      • ‘Remember all those sweets you used to love as a child; black jacks, sweet tobacco, sherbet fountains, space dust, etc…?’
      • ‘I can't remember exactly how much I was paid, probably no more than a groat - but I do remember I got free sherbet dips!’
      • ‘We sold everything from Quality Street and Black Magic to sherbet dabs, lolly pops and liquorice.’
      • ‘Thus my heart danced at his sardines-on-toast ice-cream (made with tinned fish and sliced white bread), and at his vanilla pod sherbet dib-dab and his spacedust chocolate.’
      • ‘The 30 children spent six months working on Spaced Out - a story of four children who are kidnapped and whisked off to Mars to make sherbet for aliens whose supplies have run dry.’


The tendency to insert an r into the second syllable of sherbet is common; the misspelling sherbert accounts for around a quarter of the citations for the word in the Oxford English Corpus


Early 17th century: from Turkish şerbet, Persian šerbet, from Arabic šarba ‘drink’, from šariba ‘to drink’. Compare with syrup.