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From Turkish şerbet, from Ottoman Turkish شربت(şerbet), from Arabic شَرْبَة(šarba, drink).[1]

Doublet of sorbet and sharbat, related to syrup.



sherbet (countable and uncountable, plural sherbets)

  1. A food of frozen fruit juice with a dairy product such as milk added; a sorbet with dairy ingredients.
  2. An effervescent powder made of bicarbonate of soda, sugar and flavourings, intended to be eaten alone or mixed with water to make a drink.
  3. A traditional West and South Asian sweet drink prepared from fruits or flower petals.
    • 1860, Walter Thornbury, Turkish Life and Character (volume 1, page 137)
      Directly they were trotted off in their little pea-green and gilt carriage, guardian negress and all, I went into the shop, about which I had all this time been loafingly prowling, and called, clapping my hands, for some violet sherbet, []
    • 1895, Oswald Hutton Parry, Six Months in a Syrian Monastery [2004 reprint], page 86:
      Tea is becoming a favourite drink in Turkey, not instead of coffee, but of the sherbet or cool drinks that are handed to guests; it comes generally from Russia, and although a trifle dear on account of the carriage, is extremely good, when properly made.
    • 2008, Anna Suranyi, The Genius of the English Nation: Travel Writing and National Identity in Early Modern England, page 101–102:
      The beverages of the Turks were an interesting exception to their reputation for simple foods. While many writers mentioned the Turkish penchant for drinking “cleere water,” in light of the prohibitions against alcohol (although some writers, usually those who were more negatively inclined against the Turks, maintained that they were drunkards in secret), virtually all authors discussed the nonalcoholic drinks made by the Turks to replace alcohol, not only coffee, but also sweet refined drinks such as sherbet, a cold drink that usually included sugar, water, and a fruity or flowery flavoring. Sherbet was considered a delicacy, and it and other refined drinks were mentioned in detail by a number of travelers.
  4. (UK, Australia, slang) An alcoholic drink, especially beer.
    • 2014, Peter Smith, Confessions of a Dice Dealer (page 105)
      All the dealers would steam into his cabin for a few sherbets after work, and to listen to his bollocks.


Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ "sherbet." Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 2008.




From Ottoman Turkish شربت(şerbet), from Arabic شَرْبَة(šarba).


sherbet m

  1. sugar water