I'm looking for a word that describes a meal that consists of many different kinds of food (in a way that gives pleasure) similiar to the word varied I guess, but used in this context:

let's say Johnny and his little sister arrived at the dinner table for dinner their mom prepared. They're blown away by what's in front of them; there's fish, chicken, pork, soup, and even Johnny's favourite spaghetti and meatballs and more. Dinner is usually pretty plain with only a few simple dishes that's it, but I guess mom's in a good mood today so she decided to treat them with a special dinner. And Johnny may say "wow mom, today's dinner is pretty [that word]!"

What is the word I'm looking for?

  • polyphagous .. I came across your question while looking for another word.
    – user93262
    Commented Oct 2, 2014 at 18:53

7 Answers 7


Feast comes to mind.

If it is served as a buffet, smorgasbord which is an excellent Scandinavian loan word!

  • Sorry if I wasn't being clear, but I kind of looking for a word that describes the meal, rather than the meal itself.
    – Theo
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 18:17
  • That statement was less clear than the question before it. I believe you are asking for a descriptor rather than the type of meal?
    – David M
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 18:18
  • In which case, I'd say Quite a feast! Or I would say this is a veritable smorgasbord!
    – David M
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 18:20
  • Spread works too.
    – Nilloc
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 5:07
  • @Nilloc Absolutely.
    – David M
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 5:20

If you want an adjective, you might try eclectic. Definition from Merriam Webster, particularly definition 2.


Wow, Mom, today's dinner's really SUMPTUOUS! (sumptuous banquets, sumptuous feasts)

TFD defines this adjective as:

Of a size or splendor suggesting great expense; lavish

Here are some photos showing a sumptuous dinner.


Not a word little Johnny would be likely to use, but in principle...

heterogeneous - composed of parts of different kinds; having widely dissimilar elements or constituents

In practice, he's probably just say pretty varied, or perhaps a real assortment.


If I were Johnny, I'd say, "Wow Mom! Today's dinner is quite a hodgepodge!"

Hodgepodge definition and other good synonyms:

  1. a confused mixture.

"Rob's living room was a hodgepodge of modern furniture and antiques"

synonyms: mixture, mix, mixed bag, assortment, random collection, conglomeration, jumble, ragbag, grab bag, miscellany, medley, salmagundi, potpourri, patchwork, pastiche

  • If the dinner was comprised of a mishmash of sundry leftovers, I think hodgepodge would be perfect. If everything was prepared from scratch, however, and the dishes were designed to complement each other, then I think I'd probably prefer smorgasbord and avoid hodgepodge – out of fear of insulting the cook!
    – J.R.
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 19:46
  • @J.R., I know I'm splitting hairs but it's still slightly ambiguous whether or not Johnny's mom prepared all those dishes fresh, from scratch, or if her good mood resulted from her being able to empty the fridge of all last weeks leftovers. lol! Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 20:39
  • 1
    I wouldn't call it "splitting hairs" so much as "two valid suggestions useful in two different contexts".
    – J.R.
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 20:57

How about "lavish"?

"Mom prepared a lavish meal for the whole family."

From dictionary.reference.com:

lavish —adj
1. prolific, abundant, or profuse
2. generous; unstinting; liberal
3. extravagant; prodigal; wasteful: lavish expenditure
4. (tr) to give, expend, or apply abundantly, generously, or in profusion


How about extravagant? "Wow, Mom, today's dinner is pretty extravagant."

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