Meaning of hors d'oeuvre

hors d'oeu•vre

Pronunciation: (ôr dûrv' Fr. ôr dœ'vr&supschwa), [key]
— pl. hors d'oeuvre, hors d'oeuvres
  1. a small bit of appetizing food, as spicy meat, fish, cheese, or a preparation of chopped or creamed foods, often served on crackers or small pieces of toast, for eating at cocktail parties or other gatherings where drinks are served with no other food.
  2. an appetizer, as a relish or more elaborate preparation, served before or as the first course of a meal.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.