The Meaning of Dessert: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of dessert? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word dessert, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word dessert mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, desert is the last course of a meal. This sweet course of a dinner is usually served at the end of a meal. The word dessert has two syllables – des-sert, and the pronunciation of dessert is dɪˈzɜːt. This word dessert comes from the Middle French desservir, meaning to clean the table, from the root des and the root servir, from the Latin servire.

There are many different languages that contain words meaning dessert. You may notice that some of these words look and sound similar to each other. This is likely due to the fact that they share a common origin. Usually, cognates, which are words that look, sound, and mean the same thing across languages, are formed when two words or languages share a common ancestor like Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word dessert is provided by Word Sense

  •  Hebrew: קינוח‎
  •  Cyrillic: посластица‎ (fem.), сластица‎ (fem.), слатко‎ (neut.), дезерт‎ (masc.)
  •  French: dessert‎ (masc.)
  •  Roman: poslastica‎ (fem.), slastica‎ (fem.), slatko‎ (neut.), dezert‎ (masc.)
  •  Slovak: dezert‎ (masc.)
  •  Norman: dêssèrt‎ (masc.)
  •  Norwegian: dessert‎
  •  Icelandic: eftirréttur‎ (masc.)
  •  German: Nachspeise‎ (fem.), Dessert‎ (neut.)
  •  Lithuanian: desertas‎ (masc.)
  •  Belarusian: дэсерт‎
  •  Luxembourgish: Dessert‎ (masc.)
  •  Maori: purini‎
  •  Japanese: (general) デザート‎ (dezāto); (only for a sweet one) スイーツ‎ (suītsu)
  •  Armenian: աղանդեր‎, դեսերտ‎
  •  Ukrainian: десерт‎
  •  Uzbek: desert‎
  •  Haitian Creole: desè‎
  •  Spanish: dulce‎ (masc.), postre‎ (masc.)
  •  Malay: pencuci mulut‎
  •  Czech: zákusek‎ (masc.), dezert‎ (masc.)
  •  Georgian: დესერტი‎
  •  Bulgarian: десерт‎
  •  Italian: dolce‎ (masc.), dessert‎ (masc.)
  •  Finnish: jälkiruoka‎
  •  Indonesian: disert‎, pencuci mulut‎
  •  Hawaiian: monamona‎
  •  Persian: دسر‎ (deser)
  •  Azeri: desert‎, çərəz‎
  •  Vietnamese: tráng miệng‎
  •  Portuguese: sobremesa‎
  •  Catalan: postres‎ (fem. pl.), darreries‎ (fem. pl.)
  •  Dutch: dessert‎ (neut.), nagerecht‎ (neut.), toetje‎ (neut.)
  •  Swedish: efterrätt‎ (common)
  •  Russian: десе́рт‎ (masc.), сла́дкое‎ (neut.)
  •  Latvian: deserts‎ (masc.), saldais ēdiens‎
  •  Latin: bellaria‎ (neut.), secunda mensa‎
  •  Hungarian: desszert‎
  •  Thai: อาหารหวาน‎ (aahaanwaan)
  •  Kurdish: şêranî‎
  •  Macedonian: десерт‎
  •  Romanian: desert‎ (neut.)
  •  Ido: desero‎
  •  Arabic: حَلْوَى‎ (fem.), حَلْوَيَات‎ (fem. pl.)
  •  Slovene: sladica‎ (fem.)
  •  Greek: γλυκό‎ (neut.)
  •  Volapük: poszib‎
  •  Mandarin: 點心‎, 点心‎ (diǎnxīn), 餐后甜點‎, 餐后甜点‎ (cānhòutiándiǎn), 甜食‎ (tiánshí), 甜點‎, 甜点‎ (tiándiǎn), (Western) 西點‎, 西点‎ (xīdiǎn)
  •  Polish: deser‎ (masc.)
  •  Danish: dessert‎ (common)
  •  Korean: 후식‎ (後食‎)
  •  Esperanto: postmanĝaĵo‎
  •  Turkish: tatlı‎
  •  Scottish Gaelic: mìlsean‎ (masc.), mìlse‎ (fem.)
  •  Estonian: magustoit‎, dessert‎

What are types of desserts?

According to The Free Dictionary, there are numerous different types of desserts. These can vary all around the world. Below is a brief list of different types of desserts. 

  •  compote, fruit compote – a dessert of baked or stewed fruit usually with sugar and sometimes gelatin
  •  mould, mold – a type of dish or dessert that is formed in or on a mold, often made with Jell-O or some other type of gelatin
  •  frozen dessert – any of many different kinds of desserts prepared by freezing
  •  sabayon, zabaglione – a foamy, light custard-like dessert that can be served hot or cold
  •  baked Alaska – a cake that is covered in ice cream and meringue, then quickly browned in an oven
  •  pud, pudding –  a British slang term for the dessert course of a meal
  •  ambrosia –  fruit dessert made up of bananas and oranges topped with shredded coconut
  •  whip – a dessert that is made of stiffly beaten egg whites or cream with sugar, which is usually flavored with fruit
  •  mousse – a rich, creamy, frothy dessert that is made with heavy cream and whipped egg whites 
  •  pavlova – a dessert that consists of a meringue base or cup which is then filled with fruit and whipped cream
  •  charlotte – a mold lined with crumbs or cake which is then filled with fruit, whipped cream or custard
  •  cheesecake
  •  dumpling – a dessert made by baking a pastry with fruit inside
  •  pudding – any of various types of soft, sweet desserts that are usually thickened with flour and baked, steamed or boiled
  •  tiramisu – an Italian dessert that consists of layers of sponge cake soaked in coffee and brandy or a coffee liqueur, which is then layered with mascarpone cheese and finally topped with grated chocolate
  •  peach melba – a dessert made of ice cream and peaches with a type of liqueur
  •  junket – a dessert that is made of sweetened milk that has been coagulated with rennet
  •  flan – an open pastry made of fruit or custard
  •  sillabub, syllabub – a sweetened cream that has been beaten with wine or liquor
  •  blancmange – a sweet amaretto (almond flavor) milk pudding thickened with gelatin or cornstarch. This dessert is usually molded. 
  •  crème brûlée

What are synonyms for the word dessert?

There are many different words in the English language that mean the same thing as the word dessert. These are called synonyms. Synonyms are a very useful device to know because they can help you avoid repeating the same word over and over again while also expanding your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word dessert is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  sweet
  •  sweet course
  •  pudding
  •  confectionery
  •  tart
  •  confection
  •  goody
  •  tidbit
  •  last course
  •  frozen treat
  •  bonne bouche
  •  snack
  •  feast
  •  sugary food
  •  ice cream
  •  chocolate
  •  dish
  •  savory
  •  ambrosia
  •  gratification
  •  cookout
  •  specials
  •  sweet treat
  •  treat
  •  pie
  •  mousse
  •  pastry
  •  cookie
  •  pud
  •  custard
  •  sweetmeat
  •  afters
  •  blue plate
  •  sweets
  •  pies
  •  cake
  •  delicacy
  •  confiture
  •  candy
  •  luncheon
  •  final course
  •  dessert course
  •  sweetmeats
  •  course
  •  carryout
  •  fruit
  •  dainty
  •  sugarplum
  •  bonbons
  •  supper
  •  savories
  •  frozen dessert

Overall, the word dessert means a sweet treat served as the last course of a meal. This is usually served after dinner. This is usually made with a fair bit of sugar and can sometimes be served with coffee. Different types of desserts vary around the world. What is your favorite dessert to eat after dinner?


  1. dessert: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. Dessert – definition of dessert | The Free Dictionary 
  3. Dessert definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  4. Dessert synonyms – 281 Words and Phrases for Dessert  | Power Thesaurus