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Longman Dictionary says that banquet is a formal dinner

  1. a formal dinner for many people on an important occasion
  2. a large and impressive meal

Macmillan and Oxford Dictionaries say that a banquet is a formal meal

  • a formal meal prepared for a large number of people on an important occasion

  • An elaborate and formal evening meal for many people, often followed by speeches.

Does "Banquet" refer only to dinner or extensively to a meal?

I want to receive an answer to my question.

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    It would usually be a dinner, because formal breakfasts, lunches and suppers are rarely held. – Weather Vane Sep 18 '18 at 8:25
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    Note that the meal called dinner, i.e. the most substantial of the day, is eaten midday in some parts of the English-speaking world (and the evening meal is supper) and in the evening in other parts (and the midday meal is lunch or luncheon). See e.g. “Lunch” vs. “dinner” vs. “supper” — times and meanings? – choster Sep 18 '18 at 8:59
  • Depends on how you define dinner. More research, please. – Kris Sep 18 '18 at 9:26
  • Google images gives you an idea of what a banquet looks like google.com/… – Mari-Lou A Sep 18 '18 at 11:31
  • the meals can be less opulent ... many times it is a banquet because of fortune, grace etc. – lbf Sep 18 '18 at 11:38
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The dictionaries don't necessarily disagree.

Look at the Longman Dictionary's first definition of dinner:

  1. the main meal of the day, eaten in the middle of the day or the evening.

A banquet is almost certainly going to be the main meal of the day. So if you use the Longman's Dictionary definition for dinner, a banquet could be held either in the middle of the day or in the evening.

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  • Indeed, for banquet the OED has, amongst other things: A feast, a sumptuous entertainment of food and drink; now usually a ceremonial or state feast, followed by speeches. Notice how it does not mention “dinner” explicitly. One can easily imagine a banquet served after a wedding or graduation, no matter the time of day. – tchrist Sep 18 '18 at 12:17
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a banquet vocabulary.com

a ceremonial dinner party for many people; a celebratory reunion feast; a meal that is well prepared and greatly enjoyed.

A banquet can refer to dinners, feasts ... and any meal at any time, "well prepared and greatly enjoyed".

Even breakfast:

At a breakfast banquet in Universal City that same Saturday, De León touted a landmark bill that he passed to cut California’s carbon emissions. Los Angeles Times Aug 16, 2018

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    So does 'banquet' work by itself for a mining meal or is the qualifier 'breakfast' necessary? – Mitch Sep 18 '18 at 11:16
  • mining meal? .. – lbf Sep 18 '18 at 11:22
  • Oops. Phone typing. Mining-> morning – Mitch Sep 18 '18 at 11:25
  • a banquet at sunrise, after a meeting, at 7 am etc ... – lbf Sep 18 '18 at 11:30
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    @lbf I'm asking you to elaborate in you answer, in order to have it address what the OP wants, whether 'banquet' by itself works for a morning meal, or if one needs to add a qualifier. That is, would your given quote work if it were "At a banquet in Universal City that same Saturday"? Would people be surprised if, without the 'breakfast' qualification, they discovered afterwards the banquet occurred at 7am? – Mitch Sep 18 '18 at 12:13

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