AskDefine | Define brunch

Dictionary Definition

brunch n : combination breakfast and lunch; usually served in late morning v : eat a late-morning meal; "We brunch in Sundays"

User Contributed Dictionary

see Brunch





  1. A meal eaten later in the day than breakfast and earlier than lunch, replacing both meals, and often consisting of some foods that would normally be eaten at breakfast and some foods that would normally be eaten at lunch.



  1. To eat brunch.

Extensive Definition

Brunch or bruncheon is a meal eaten between breakfast and lunch that combines foods usually eaten for breakfast and lunch. The term is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch(eon). Brunch is often served after a morning event or prior to an afternoon one, such as a wedding or sporting event. While common in the United States, according to Punch magazine, the term was introduced in Britain around 1896 by Hunter's Weekly, then becoming student slang.
Some restaurants and hotels serve brunch, especially on Sundays and holidays. Such brunches are often serve-yourself buffets, but menu-ordered meals may be available instead of, or with, the buffet. The meal usually involves standard breakfast foods such as eggs, sausages, bacon, ham, fruits, pastries, pancakes, and the like. However, it can include almost any other type of food served throughout the day. Buffets may have quiche, large roasts of meat or poultry, cold seafood like shrimp and smoked fish, salads, soups, vegetable dishes, many types of breadstuffs, and desserts of all sorts.
The dim sum brunch is a popular meal in Chinese restaurants worldwide. It consists of a wide variety of stuffed bao (buns), dumplings, and other savory or sweet food items which have been steamed, deep-fried, or baked. Customers select small portions from passing carts, as the kitchen continuously produces and sends out more freshly-prepared dishes.

Special occasions

Brunch meals are prepared by restaurants and hotels for special occasions, such as weddings, Valentine's or Mother’s Day, with recipes available or meals offered.

French language

The Académie française prefers that French speakers do not incorporate English words like brunch into their language, and suggests using the phrase le grand petit déjeuner, literally "big breakfast," and more literally, word-for-word this means "big little lunch." Despite the wishes of the Académie, the typical French person readily says "brunch." In fact, most French-French dictionaries have an entry for "brunch" but not "grand petit déjeuner," defining brunch as a "late meal taken in the morning, in place of both breakfast and lunch.".

German Language

German-speaking countries readily adopt Anglicisms, and "brunch" is no exception, defining it as "a combination of breakfast and lunch." However, the German language has its own word for "brunch": Gabelfrühstück (literally, "fork breakfast"). While German versions of the word might exist, they are not used.


This meal always falls halfway between breakfast and lunch. Eggs, French toast, pancakes, hash browns, and other standard breakfast foods may be accompanied by coffee, and often by a Mimosa, champagne, Bellini, or a Bloody Mary. The grease-heavy meal is often used as a hangover remedy for those who stay out late drinking on Friday or Saturday night. Alcohol-fueled nightlife can often push brunch well into the afternoon, after party-goers have slept off the previous night's excesses.
Another variation, originating with New York Jews, consists of bagels and their traditional accompaniments, including: "shmears" (cream cheeses of various flavors), tomatoes, red onions, capers, and lox. This is often called a "bagel brunch," and has spread throughout the United States.
A newer tradition made popular in trendy areas of many cities across the U.S. are more upscale brunch options. Foods served in this variation often have a regional cuisine influence, such as Italian cuisine or Southern cuisine. The menus also typically have both breakfast- and lunch-related options (such as sandwiches and salads), as well as items that work to fuse both meals, including classics such as a Monte Cristo sandwich, and newer ideas such as "breakfast pizzas" (basically, a baked omelette with tomatoes, cheese, and pizza meats, cooked on top of a pizza crust). These meals are usually ordered menu-style (though some places have a buffet of salad and/or breakfast pasteries), and pricing is often Prix Fixe (usually costing between $10 and $20).


  • "Brunch" was the name of a 1997 British television series directed by Sue Judd and Simon Pearce.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons ("Life on the Fast Lane," which first aired on March 18, 1990) the handsome French bowling instructor Jacques gives his (French) impression of American brunch to Marge: "It's not quite breakfast, it's not quite lunch, but it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end. You don't get completely what you get at breakfast, but you get a good meal."
  • In The Simpsons episode "The Front," Homer claims to have discovered a meal between breakfast and brunch.
  • Another episode of The Simpsons called "Lisa Gets an "A"" depicts the Simpson family going out to "brunch" by eating the samples in a grocery store.
  • "Brunch" is also a term used by fans of Law & Order SVU to describe the love between John Munch and Bridget Marlowe.


brunch in Danish: Brunch
brunch in German: Brunch
brunch in Spanish: Brunch
brunch in Esperanto: Frutagmanĝo
brunch in French: Brunch
brunch in Icelandic: Dögurður
brunch in Italian: Brunch
brunch in Hebrew: בוהריים
brunch in Macedonian: Бранч
brunch in Dutch: Brunch
brunch in Norwegian: Brunsj
brunch in Polish: Brunch
brunch in Portuguese: Brunch
brunch in Russian: Бранч
brunch in Finnish: Brunssi
brunch in Swedish: Brunch
brunch in Contenese: 早午餐
brunch in Chinese: 早午餐

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

TV dinner, alfresco meal, barbecue, breakfast, buffet supper, clambake, coffee break, cookout, diner, dinner, elevenses, fish fry, high tea, hot luncheon, lunch, luncheon, mash, meat breakfast, petit dejeuner, picnic, supper, tea, tea break, teatime, tiffin, wiener roast, wienie roast
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