What's the word for a gathering mainly for the purpose of eating food? Like a social meet-up for eating? Basically you do on holidays. I feel like the word is on the tip of my tongue but I can't think of it.

  • 2
    Feast, perhaps.
    – user66965
    Nov 24, 2015 at 21:39
  • 2
    A banquet ? thefreedictionary.com/banquet
    – user66974
    Nov 24, 2015 at 21:42
  • Only literary types go to feasts and banquets nowadays. Dunno if it's specifically BrE, and/or past it's sell-by date, but I certainly used to be up for a nosh-up back when I had a literal as well as a figurative appetite for life. Nov 24, 2015 at 21:54
  • 1
    How about a picnic?
    – Lawrence
    Nov 25, 2015 at 1:42
  • 2
    meal, or with family: family meal Nov 25, 2015 at 2:56

3 Answers 3


Have you considered: "Dining", or "Feasting"

  • 2
    This post would be improved by explaining why you suggest these terms, for example, by providing a dictionary definition or examples in the wild. I encourage you take the site tour and review the help center for additional guidance. Nov 25, 2015 at 4:23

The formal sense of 'dinner' is this:

dinner, n.
The chief meal of the day, eaten originally, and still by the majority of people, about the middle of the day (cf. German Mittagsessen), but now, by the professional and fashionable classes, usually in the evening; particularly, a formally arranged meal of various courses; a repast given publicly in honour of some one, or to celebrate some event.

["dinner, n.". OED Online. September 2015. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/53051?rskey=4Ikymo&result=1&isAdvanced=false (accessed November 24, 2015).]

The particular sense of formally arranged meal is sometimes expressed with the (redundant) phrase 'dinner-party':

dinner-party n. a party of guests invited to dinner; the social gathering which they compose.

(op. cit.)


Is eatfest (or grubfest or chowfest) the word you're after?

fest: a gathering, event, or show having a specified focus —often used in combination : a gabfest

"Yiddish dokus or tuchus (backside), and dozens of words ending in the German -fest, including gabfest, smokefest, eatfest, sobfest, singfest, swatfest (a golf or baseball game), and batfest (a high- hitting baseball game)." Dewdroppers, Waldos, and Slackers

Alternately, consider;


: a communal meal to which people bring food to share —usually used attributively : a potluck supper M-W


: a meal or party at which food is cooked and served outdoors M-W


: (Inf.) a large or lavish meal or social gathering OED


: a social gathering especially in the open air at which barbecued food is eaten M-W


: an outdoor party at which food is cooked over an open fire M-W

wiener/weenie roast: a cookout where roasted frankfurters are the main course


: a social gathering at which a baked food is served M-W

clambake: a cookout at the seashore where clams and fish and other foods are cooked--usually on heated stones covered with seaweed


: a social gathering or picnic where food is fried and eaten : a fish fry M-W


: a boiled dish of seafood, vegetables, and seasonings : a crab boil; also, a gathering at which this dish is served : seafood boil; fish boil M-W


(Chiefly Kentucky and Tennessee)

a : a stew or thick soup of meat and vegetables originally served at outdoor gatherings

b : a picnic at which burgoo is served M-W

al fresco dining or dining alfresco

In temperate climates, al fresco dining is especially popular in the summer months when temperatures and weather are most favorable.[1] It is a style of dining that is casual and often party-like in its atmosphere. Wikipedia

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