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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for appetite in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


From Middle English appetit, from Old French apetit (French appétit), from Latin appetitus, from appetere (to strive after, long for); ad + petere (to seek). See petition, and compare with appetence.



appetite (countable and uncountable, plural appetites)

  1. Desire for, or relish of, food or drink; hunger.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 5, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      The most rapid and most seductive transition in all human nature is that which attends the palliation of a ravenous appetite. There is something humiliating about it.
  2. Any strong desire; an eagerness or longing.
  3. The desire for some personal gratification, either of the body or of the mind.
    • (Can we date this quote by Richard Hooker and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      The object of appetite is whatsoever sensible good may be wished for; the object of will is that good which reason does lead us to seek.
  4. A taste, preference.


  • 1904, Arthur Conan Doyle in The Adventure of Black Peter
    And I return with an excellent appetite. There can be no question, my dear Watson, of the value of exercise before breakfast. But I am prepared to bet that you will not guess the form that my exercise has taken.


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Derived terms[edit]


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Further reading[edit]




  1. second-person plural present indicative of appetire
  2. second-person plural imperative of appetire



  1. feminine plural of the past participle of appetire




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of appetō