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Alternative forms[edit]


From earlier lunching, of uncertain origin. Possibly related to lunch, q.v. It is unclear which came first. Possibly influenced by nuncheon (light snack taken in the afternoon).

The "sausage" sense is probably a shortening of luncheon sausage or luncheon meat.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈlʌntʃ.ən/, /ˈlʌnʃ.ən/
  • Hyphenation: lun‧cheon
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌntʃən


luncheon (countable and uncountable, plural luncheons)

  1. A formal meal served in the middle of the day.
  2. (New Zealand) A large, cheap, processed sausage served in thin slices.
    Synonyms: Belgium (South Island), devon, fritz, polony (all Australian)
    • 2014 June 3, John Pratt, Anna Eriksson, “Understanding differences in punishment”, in Contrasts in Punishment: An Explanation of Anglophone Excess and Nordic Exceptionalism[1], Taylor & Francis, →ISBN, page 31:
      Filled Roll (x2) 1x luncheon, tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise / 1x cheese and onion
  3. (dated) Any midday meal; lunch.
    • 1931, Mildred Wirt (as Carolyn Keene), The Mystery at Lilac Inn (page 4)
      "Have you had luncheon?"
  4. (obsolete) A lump of food.
  5. (obsolete) A portion of food taken at any time except at a regular meal; an informal or light repast.
    • 1892, Walter Besant, chapter II, in The Ivory Gate [], New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, [], →OCLC:
      At twilight in the summer there is never anybody to fear—man, woman, or cat—in the chambers and at that hour the mice come out. They do not eat parchment or foolscap or red tape, but they eat the luncheon crumbs.

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Related terms[edit]


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luncheon (third-person singular simple present luncheons, present participle luncheoning, simple past and past participle luncheoned)

  1. (intransitive, dated) To eat luncheon.
    • 1844, Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby:
      In the meantime, while ladies are luncheoning on chicken pie, or coursing in whirling britskas, performing all the singular ceremonies of a London morning in the heart of the season []
  2. (transitive, rare) To serve luncheon to.
    • 1896 May 1, H. P. Robinson, “Digressions. V.—The Convention.”, in The British Journal of Photography, volume XLIII, number 1878, London: Henry Greenwood & Co., [], page 277, column 1:
      Towns welcomed us in our hundreds; M.P.’s luncheoned us, manufacturers turned out their warehouses, decorated them and feasted us; private families tea’d us on their lawns, but we were so true to our art that we always returned to—“papers!”
    • 1909, The Public, page 109:
      This gentleman was presented by Colonel C. E. S. Wood, and was entertained here—wined, dined, tead, breakfasted, coffeed and luncheoned—and we bought his pictures.
    • 1936, The Stanford Illustrated Review, volume 38, number 13, page 23, column 1:
      [] entertained him at the Bohemian Club; Edward D. Kneass, Jr., ’18, extended to him the greeting of the San Francisco Press Club; and Frank J. Taylor, ’18, luncheoned him at the Honolulu Club.
    • 1939 February 4, “Detroit”, in Boxoffice, volume 34, number 11, Associated Publications, page 102, column 2:
      A number of friends of Mrs. H. M. Richey, wife of H. M., luncheoned her on Thursday at the Warden Hotel.
    • 1947 February 21, Norman F. Carroll, “[Class Notes] 09”, in Princeton Alumni Weekly, volume 47, number 19, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, page 15, column 3:
      To soften him up, a group of his fellows luncheoned him at the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles.
    • 1949 February 23, “Broadway”, in Variety, volume 173, number 11, New York, N.Y., page 54, column 2:
      Mrs. Harry (Sybil) Brand farewell-luncheoned her New York friends Monday (21), before taking off for Paris with John Haskell, representing TWA, on month’s vacation, first time over.
    • 1951, Charles H[enry] Baker, Jr., The South American Gentleman’s Companion: Being an Exotic Cookery Book; Or, Up & Down the Andes with Knife, Fork & Spoon, New York, N.Y.: Crown Publishers, Inc., page 66:
      We won’t try to lie to you for, bro-ther! until that recent noon when Don Fernando Carlés, Number 1 at National City Bank in Buenos Aires, luncheoned us at this fantastic Jockey Club—and invitations to this fantastic block-square brownstone Mansion in Calle Florída are nothing to view lightly—we could take our sting-rays or leave ’em alone.
    • 1963, Paramount World, volume 9, page 22:
      The Legal Department's Richard Colby went off to other pastures, so early this month his associates luncheoned him at Rosoff's, and in the tradition of the profession, all remarks were off the record.
    • 1966 September 7, Geo. H. Carver, “Sports Slices”, in The Intelligencer, Belleville, Ont., page 13:
      There must have been a chip of the blarney stone in the Irish stew the pretty stewardess luncheoned us with, for one quipped.


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