noun, plural a·pé·ri·tifs [ah-per-i-teefs; French a-pey-ree-teef] /ɑˌpɛr ɪˈtifs; French a peɪ riˈtif/.
- a small drink of alcoholic liquor taken to stimulate the appetite before a meal.
- Also called apéritif wine. a wine served as an appetizer or cocktail.
- an alcoholic drink, esp a wine, drunk before a meal to whet the appetite
1894, “alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite,” from French apéritif “laxative, laxative liqueur,” literally “opening,” from Latin aperitivus, from aperire “to open” (see ). Cf. Middle English apertive (adj.), a medical word meaning “capable of opening or dilating” (pores, etc.), early 15c.