1. a sweet, custardlike food of flavored milk curdled with rennet.
  2. a pleasure excursion, as a picnic or outing.
  3. a trip, as by an official or legislative committee, paid out of public funds and ostensibly to obtain information.

verb (used without object)

  1. to go on a junket.

verb (used with object)

  1. to entertain; feast; regale.


  1. an excursion, esp one made for pleasure at public expense by a public official or committee
  2. a sweet dessert made of flavoured milk set to a curd with rennet
  3. a feast or festive occasion


  1. (intr) (of a public official, committee, etc) to go on a junket
  2. to have or entertain with a feast or festive gathering

late 14c., “basket in which fish are caught or carried,” from Medieval Latin iuncata “rush basket,” perhaps from Latin iuncus “rush.” Shifted meaning by 1520s to “feast, banquet,” probably via notion of a picnic basket, which led to extended sense of “pleasure trip” (1814), and then to “tour by government official at public expense for no discernable public benefit” (by 1886, American English). Cf. Italian cognate giuncata “cream cheese” (originally made in a rush basket), a sense of junket also found in Middle English and preserved lately in dialects.

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