• A small savory item of food served as an appetizer before a meal.

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Example Sentences

“Can mac and cheese bites really be served as an amuse-gueule for such a fancy banquet?”

“I enjoyed the chef’s amuse-gueule much more than the main course I selected.”

“Several options of amuse-gueule were given to wedding guests to tide them over until after the ceremony.”

Word Origin

French, 1960s

Why this word?

Amuse-gueules, also known as “amuse-bouches,” are related to hors d’oeuvres, but they are slightly different from an appetizer. Both “bouche” and “gueule” mean “mouth” in French, so “amuse-gueule” and “amuse-bouche” literally mean “food that amuses your mouth.” Traditionally, an amuse-gueule is considered “a gift from the kitchen,” so it’s not ordered from the menu or seen on the bill. It’s usually a one-bite treat, such as a deviled egg, a pastry, caviar, or another delicacy.

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