Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: DRINK

Date: 1800-1900
Origin: Probably from cocktail 'horse with a tail cut short so that it looks like a male chicken's, horse of mixed breed (with such a tail), mixture' (1800-1900)

cocktail

noun
     
cocktail
cock‧tail [countable]
1DFD an alcoholic drink made from a mixture of different drinks
2

seafood/prawn/lobster cocktail

DFD small pieces of fish, prawns, or lobster served cold with a sauce and eaten as the first part of a meal
3

fruit cocktail

DFD a mixture of small pieces of fruit
4 a mixture of several things which is dangerous, unpleasant, confusing, or exciting
cocktail of
a lethal cocktail of painkillers and whisky
The book contains a powerful cocktail of romance, family crises and big business.
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