Suppose that my wife and I talk to another couple and set a time to go to the beach with them and spend some with that couple over there. What is this arrangement and its time called? Can it be called an appointment? For example how would you say that the other couple want to postpone this arrangement and the set time?

  • They called and want to postpone the appointment / rendezvous/ catch-up / arrangement / meeting.
  • They cancelled the appointment / rendezvous / ... .

I know that most of these option are fine. But I don't know which ones are actually used by native speakers and will appreciate some usage examples in the case of time and place arrangements with friends.

  • I'd tend to call it a "date". The term is not limited to (potentially) romantic encounters, or to evenings only or anything of that sort.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 24 '15 at 1:39
  • 5
    Most people I know would just refer to the reason for meeting in the first place— the dinner, the meetup, the trip, the playdate, the game, the session, the concert, the outing, and so on.
    – choster
    Mar 24 '15 at 1:53
  • 2
    You can also refer to by the date: Hey I can't make Thursday night, can we do it on Saturday?
    – Jim
    Mar 24 '15 at 2:24
  • Most people I know, including myself, would also do it in the way choster described, e.g. "They cancelled the trip to the beach."
    – Jason C
    Mar 24 '15 at 15:46




This would be used in Australia I can say. These words:

appointment/ rendezvous/ / arrangement / meeting

Are probably too formal to talk about a regular, but casual get together with friends.


"Date with friends" is fine. See examples of "lunch date with friends" in published books listed at Google Books.


I would use the word "gathering" no matter the size of the party.


A somewhat dated word you could use is outing, which describes an occasion when friends go "out" on the town or else beyond their regular living space to enjoy each other's company, often during activities like drinking or dancing.

The example you provide of two couples going on a casual outing together is often referred to as a double date. Typically the use of the word date on its own is reserved only to describe outings of a primarily romantic nature. However, as date means "when a couple goes on an outing", an outing attended by multiple couples can also comfortably be referred to as a date, especially as a double date (or triple date if there are three couples, etc.), regardless of how romantic the outing is.

To extend one of the comments on your question, the specific example you provide of people going to the beach together can be referred to as a beach day.


In colloquial British usage, calling the arrangement a rendezvous can be humourous because of its slightly snobbish Norman-invasion French origin while date is robustly American influenced, now trans-Atlantic. One may also use a variety of more or less illustrative activity nouns such as spree, ramble, pub-crawl, ramble,... After a proposed timing is known, one can identify it posessively as in "I won't be able to make our evening/afternoon/etc.


Informally, for friends, I'd use:







The words used to describe the outing often says something about the intention of the meeting. I would organize a rendezvous with friends at the beach, but if I were to telephone them to cancel I would refer to our beach plans for ...


The answer would be "An appointment with a friend".

  • Or appoint with my friends...
    – Noname
    Mar 24 '15 at 19:19

Wiki says otherwise. Dating is a part of human mating process whereby two people meet socially for companionship, beyond the level of friendship, or with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or marriage. It can be a form of courtship consisting of social activities done by the couple. While the term has several meanings, it usually refers to the act of meeting and engaging in some mutually agreed upon social activity in public, together, as a couple.

  • Then Wiki is wrong.
    – Chenmunka
    May 28 '15 at 13:04

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