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[luhnch] /lʌntʃ/

a light midday meal between breakfast and dinner; .
any light meal or snack.
a restaurant or :
Let’s eat at the dairy lunch.
verb (used without object)
to eat lunch:
We lunched quite late today.
verb (used with object)
to provide lunch for:
They lunched us in regal fashion.
out to lunch, Slang. not paying attention or tending to business; negligent:
You must have been out to lunch when you wrote that weird report.
a meal eaten during the middle of the day
(Caribbean) (among older people) mid-afternoon tea
(intransitive) to eat lunch
(transitive) to provide or buy lunch for

“mid-day repast,” 1786, shortened form of luncheon (q.v.). The verb meaning “to take to lunch” (said to be from the noun) also is attested from 1786:

PRATTLE. I always to be ſure, makes a point to keep up the dignity of the family I lives in. Wou’d you take a more ſolid refreſhment?–Have you lunch’d, Mr. Bribe?

BRIBE. Lunch’d O dear! Permit me, my dear Mrs. Prattle, to refreſh my sponge, upon the honey dew that clings to your raviſhing pouters. O! Mrs. Prattle, this ſhall be my lunch. (kiſſes)

[“The Mode,” in William Davies’ “Plays Written for a Private Theatre,” London, 1786]

But as late as 1817 the only definition of lunch in Webster’s is “a large piece of food.” OED says in 1820s the word “was regarded either as a vulgarism, or as a fashionable affectation.” Related: Lunched; lunching. Lunch money is attested from 1868; lunch-time (n.) is from 1821; lunch hour is from 1840. Slang phrase out to lunch “insane, stupid, clueless” first recorded 1955, on notion of being “not there.” Old English had nonmete “afternoon meal,” literally “noon-meat.”


Related Terms

eat someone’s lunch, out to lunch, shoot one’s cookies


Read Also:

  • Lunch-hooks

    [luhnch-hoo k] /ˈlʌntʃˌhʊk/ noun, Slang. 1. Usually, lunchhooks. . 2. a light anchor for mooring a small yacht for a short time. noun The hands; fingers; meathooks: get a set of predatory lunch-hooks into him (1896+)

  • Lunch hour

    noun 1. Also called lunch break. a break in the middle of the working day, usually of one hour, during which lunch may be eaten 2. Also called lunch time. the time at which lunch is usually eaten

  • Lumen-hour

    [loo-muh n-ouuh r, -ou-er] /ˈlu mənˌaʊər, -ˌaʊ ər/ noun, Optics. 1. a unit of luminous energy, equal to that emitted in 1 hour by a light source emitting a luminous flux of 1 lumen. Abbreviation: lm-hr.

  • Lum-hat

    /ˌlʌmˈhæt/ noun 1. (Scot) a top hat

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