any of various short mixed drinks, consisting typically of gin, whiskey, rum, vodka, or brandy, with different admixtures, as vermouth, fruit juices, or flavorings, usually chilled and frequently sweetened.
a portion of food, as seafood served with a sauce, a mixture of fruits, or juice, served as the appetizer course of a meal.
Pharmacology. a beverage or solution concocted of various drugs.
any eclectic mixture or miscellaneous collection.
verb (used without object)
to drink cocktails, especially at a :
They cocktailed before going to the theater.
(of women’s clothing) styled for semiformal wear:
a cocktail dress.
of, pertaining to, used in, or suitable to the serving of cocktails:
cocktail onions; cocktail napkins.
an appetizer of seafood, mixed fruits, etc
any combination of diverse elements, esp one considered potent
(modifier) appropriate for formal occasions: a cocktail dress
a horse with a docked tail
an animal of unknown or mixed breeding
(archaic) a person of little breeding pretending to be a gentleman
first attested 1806; H.L. Mencken lists seven versions of its origin, perhaps the most persuasive is French coquetier “egg-cup” (15c.; in English cocktay). In New Orleans, c.1795, Antoine Amédée Peychaud, an apothecary (and inventor of Peychaud bitters) held Masonic social gatherings at his pharmacy, where he mixed brandy toddies with his own bitters and served them in an egg-cup. On this theory, the drink took the name of the cup. Used from 1920s of any mix of substances (e.g. fruit, Molotov). Cocktail party first attested 1928.
cocktail cock·tail (kŏk’tāl)
noun 1. a public room, as in a hotel or airline terminal, where cocktails and other drinks are served. 2. a bar. noun 1. a room in a hotel, restaurant, etc, where cocktails or other alcoholic drinks are served
noun 1. a social gathering, often held during the cocktail hour, at which cocktails and other alcoholic beverages, hors d’oeuvres, and canapés are served. noun 1. a play in verse (1950) by T. S. Eliot.
- Cocktail party effect
noun the difficulty of focusing one’s attention on a single auditory source within a jumble of noises; the process of selective listening Examples In a room where several conversations are taking place, one can focus on one of them and ignore the rest: the cocktail party effect.
noun 1. any of various sauces served with a seafood cocktail, typically one consisting of ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, horseradish, and seasonings.