To dine, dinner, dining-table


Hi Dear teachers

To dine = to eat the evening meal - this verb is only for having the evening meal, not other meals, e.g, lunch, breakfast etc.
Dinner = evening meal
Dining-table = the table at which only evening meal is eaten - this isn't for other meals, i.e, lunch, breakfast etc.

Are my distinctions right? If I'm wrong, please correct me... (maybe I'm just focused on the words, I'm not sure to what extent I'm right.)

Thank you for you suggestions,

  • PaulQ

    English - England
    Are my distinctions right?
    No, they are far too restrictive and heavily outdated.

    To dine - to have a meal; to eat. Somewhat formal but also used in an extended sense: "They were lost in the forest and were forced to dine on mushrooms, berries and roots."

    Dinner - The main meal of the day. Usually (but not always) the evening meal. Regionally, in the UK (and perhaps elsewhere), also the midday meal.

    Dining-table = a table that, in former days, in the houses of the rich, was used only for dining in the evening. However, because of the limited room in most houses, this soon became to mean "the main table in the house" - usually one around which a minimum of four people can sit."


    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Dinner is usually the main meal of the day -- but it is not always eaten in the evening. In many places, it is eaten at midday (which means the evening meal is then called something else, such as "supper".)

    A dining table (or a "dinner table") is found in a dining room -- but it is perfectly common to eat breakfast or lunch on a dining table in a dining room.


    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    There is variation in how speakers use dinner. In Northern England or Scotland or New Zealand, for example, the evening meal is 'tea'. In Britain, 'school dinner' refers to the midday meal provided at school. See, for example, this thread:
    Meals: Dinner and tea?
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