Main course

A main course is the featured or primary dish in a meal consisting of several courses. It usually follows the entrée ("entry") course.

Typically, the main course is the meal that is the heaviest, heartiest, and most intricate or substantial on the menu. Typically, meat or fish is the main component; but, in vegetarian meals, the main dish will occasionally make an effort to resemble a meat course.


In the United States and Canada (except Quebec), the main course is traditionally called an "entrée".[1][2][3] English-speaking Québécois follow the modern French use of the term entrée to refer to a dish served before the main course.

According to linguist Dan Jurafsky, North American usage ("entrée") retains the original French meaning of a substantial meat course.

See also


  1. "entrée". ENTRÉE | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary. Cambridge Dictionary.
  2. Stewart, Marjabelle Young and Elizabeth Lawrence (1999). Commonsense Etiquette: A Guide to Gracious, Simple Manners for the Twenty-First Century. St. Martin's Press. p. 99. ISBN 9780312242947.
  3. "You are what you eat — and how you translate the menu". Retrieved 12 September 2017.


  • Vergé, Roger (1996). The Main Course. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-83638-2. Retrieved May 25, 2017.

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