• IPA: /ˈbæŋkwɪt/

banquet (plural banquets)

  1. A large celebratory meal; a feast.
    • c. 1605, William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act I, Scene 4,
      True, worthy Banquo; he is full so valiant,
      And in his commendations I am fed;
      It is a banquet to me.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Esther 5:4,
      And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him.
    • 1715, John Gay, The What D'ye Call It, Act II, Scene 9,
      So comes a Reck’ning when the Banquet’s o’er,
      The dreadful Reck’ning, and Men smile no more.
    • 1800, William Wordworth, “Nutting,” in Lyrical Ballads, with Other Poems, London: Longman & Rees, Volume II, p. 133,
      […] the hazels rose
      Tall and erect, with milk-white clusters hung,
      A virgin scene! — A little while I stood,
      Breathing with such suppression of the heart
      As joy delights in; and, with wise restraint
      Voluptuous, fearless of a rival, eyed
      The banquet, […]
    • c. 1870, Emily Dickinson, untitled poem, first published in 1945, in Thomas H. Johnson (ed.), The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, Boston, Little, Brown & Co., p. 538,
      Who goes to dine must take his Feast
      Or find the Banquet mean—
      The Table is not laid without
      Till it is laid within.
    • 1933, Kahlil Gibran, The Garden of the Prophet,
      And the sun, even as you and I and all there is, sits in equal honour at the banquet of the Prince whose door is always open and whose board is always spread.
    • 1972, “China Coverage: Sweet and Sour,” Time, 6 March, 1972,[,9171,910223,00.html]
      The thrill of discovery quickly wore off. TV crews and reporters were soon scurrying frantically to satisfy the medium’s insatiable appetite for novelty, sometimes achieving massive inanity instead. During coverage of the first great banquet, correspondents—who had not been given menus—variously described those little orange balls decorating the table’s center as pomegranates, oranges or JellO. (They were actually North China tangerines.)
  2. (archaic) A dessert; a course of sweetmeats.
    • 1639, Philip Massinger, The Unnatural Combat, Act III, Scene 1,
      We’ll dine in the great room, but let the music
      And banquet be prepared here.
    • 1874, Saturday Review: Politics, Literature, Science and Art
      At Inverkeithing the teetotalers objected to this profligate expenditure, so the Provost and magistrates manfully paid for their “cookies” out of their own pockets. At Dunse, instead of a cake and wine banquet, there was “a fruit conversazione,” whatever that may be.
Synonyms Translations Verb

banquet (banquets, present participle banqueting; past and past participle banqueted)

  1. (intransitive) To participate in a banquet; to feast.
    • c. 1594, William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Act I, Scene 1,
      I am resolved; ’tis but a three years’ fast:
      The mind shall banquet, though the body pine:
      Fat paunches have lean pates, and dainty bits
      Make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Song of Songs 2:4,
      He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
    • 1634, John Milton, Comus, lines 701-702,
      Were it a draught for Juno when she banquets,
      I would not taste thy treasonous offer.
    • 1820, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe, Chapter 32,
      “Ay, ay,” said Wamba, who had resumed his attendance on his master, “rare feeding there will be—pity that the noble Athelstane cannot banquet at his own funeral.—But he,” continued the Jester, lifting up his eyes gravely, “is supping in Paradise, and doubtless does honour to the cheer.”
  2. (obsolete) To have dessert after a feast.
    • 1580, George Cavendish, quoted by John Stow (ed.), The Annales of England, Faithfully collected out of the most autenticall Authors, Records, and other Monuments of Antiquitie, 1600 edition, “Henry the eight.,” p. 907,
      Then was the banquetting chamber in the tilt yard at Greenewich, to the which place these strangers were conducted by the noblest personages in the court, where they did both sup and banquet.
  3. (transitive) To treat with a banquet or sumptuous entertainment of food; to feast.
    • c. 1593, William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, Act I, Scene 1,
      Not possible; for who shall bear your part
      And be in Padua here Vincentio’s son;
      Keep house and ply his book, welcome his friends,
      Visit his countrymen, and banquet them?
    • 1800, Frederick Schiller, The Piccolomini, or the First Part of Wallenstein, translated by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, London: Longman & Rees, Act I, Scene 1, p. 2,
      Just in time to banquet
      The illustrious company assembled there.
    • 1828, Washington Irving, A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, Book X, Chapter II,
      They treated them with profound reverence, as beings descended from heaven, and conducted them to a spacious house, the residence of the cacique, where they were banqueted in their simple and hospitable way, with bread and various fruits of excellent flavour, and different kinds of beverages which have been already mentioned.

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