cocktail, adj. and n.
b. In extended use: characterized by a lack of gentility or good breeding; lacking social propriety. Obsolete.
2. Of or relating to a fossil thought to resemble the curling feathers of a cock's tail; (also) designating such a fossil. Now rare.Originally thought to have been the imprint of marine algae, these fossils are now thought to be the fossilized burrows of an extinct polychaete worm.
a. A horse with a docked tail which sticks up; a cocktailed horse (see cocktailed adj.1 1). Obsolete.
b. Horse Racing. A racehorse which is not a thoroughbred; a horse of mixed or inferior breed. Obsolete.Probably with allusion to the fact that the types of horses which commonly had their tails docked in the way described at sense B. 1a were typically not thoroughbreds. Cf. note at cocktailed adj.1 1.
c. In extended use: a person (esp. a man) with pretensions of gentility but lacking good breeding, a parvenu; a person lacking a sense of socially correct or appropriate behaviour. Obsolete.
2. More fully cocktail beetle. Any of various rove beetles which habitually raise the hind end and open the jaws in a threatening manner when alarmed, esp. the devil's coach-horse Ocypus olens; = cocktailed beetle n. at cocktailed adj.1 Compounds.
a. Originally U.S. Originally: (the name of) a particular type of alcoholic drink, consisting of a spirit mixed with bitters, water, and sugar. Later: any alcoholic drink made by mixing a spirit or spirits with other ingredients such as a liqueur, fruit juice, etc. Also with modifying word specifying the primary ingredient of the drink.See note in etymology on the likely origin of this sense.There was a gradual transition between the term being used to denote a specific type of mixed drink—essentially a sling (sling n.5 1) with the addition of bitters—and it being used to refer to any alcoholic mixed drink. Clear references to drinks made with ingredients other than those of the original cocktail can be found from the mid 19th century (see for example quot. 1864), and the transition was substantially complete by the beginning of the 20th century.As the later generic sense ‘alcoholic mixed drink’ developed, individual types of cocktail were typically distinguished by a particular name. See, for example, Manhattan n.2 (first attested 1882), Martini n.2 (1884), old-fashioned n. 2 (1912), mojito n. (1934), Bloody Mary n. 2 (1939), White Russian n. 3 (1965).
b. In plural and singular. A social gathering or event at which cocktails are served; a cocktail party.
a. A mixture or combination of factors or elements.In early use typically with direct metaphorical reference to sense B. 3a; in quot. 1868 as an epithet for Lotta Crabtree (1847–1924), American actress and entertainer.
b. A dish consisting of small pieces of food, such as chopped fruit salad or shellfish in a sauce or seasoning, which is typically served cold as an appetizer or light refreshment, traditionally in a glass. Usually with modifying word specifying the main ingredient.Recorded earliest in fruit cocktail n. at fruit n. Compounds 2.lobster cocktail, oyster cocktail, prawn cocktail, shrimp cocktail: see the first element.
c. Any mixture of liquids, esp. one which is in some way either harmful or medicinal. Hence: a combination or blend of a number of different therapeutic or recreational drugs, in any form.atomic cocktail, Brompton cocktail, lytic cocktail, Molotov cocktail: see the first element.
5. British School slang. A type of beer, perhaps fresh, foaming beer (cf. sense A. 3). Obsolete. rare.
C1. General use as a modifier, and with verbal nouns and participles forming compounds in which cocktail expresses the object of the underlying verb, in sense B. 3a, as in cocktail-drinking, cocktail list, cocktail-maker, cocktail menu, cocktail tray, etc.Some of the more significant compounds of this type are treated at Compounds 2. See also cocktail party n.
cocktail cabinet n. a cabinet designed to contain bottles of spirits and mixers, glasses, etc., and usually incorporating a surface on which to mix cocktails.
cocktail dress n. a women's dress suitable for wearing at a cocktail party; esp. an elegant semi-formal dress reaching to just above or below the knee.
cocktail glass n. a type of glass used for drinking cocktails; esp. a stemmed glass with a distinctive flared or rounded bowl.
cocktail gown n. a women's elegant semi-formal gown suitable for wearing at a cocktail party; cf. cocktail dress n.
cocktail lounge n. a bar, typically in a hotel, restaurant, etc., where cocktails and other alcoholic drinks are served.
cocktail mixer n. (a) a person who mixes cocktails, esp. as part of his or her job; (b) a container in which cocktails are mixed; spec. = cocktail shaker n.
cocktail music n. music of a kind played in the background at a cocktail party or cocktail bar, now typically characterized as softly melodious, light, bland, and unobtrusive; such music as a genre.
cocktail napkin n. a small napkin (originally made of linen, now usually of absorbent paper) designed to be placed under a drink when it is served, and now often used for scribbling a rough design or short message.
cocktail onion n. a small pickled pearl onion, typically served on a cocktail stick as party food or as garnish for a cocktail.
cocktail parasol n. = cocktail umbrella n. (b).
cocktail pianist n. a pianist who plays background music at a cocktail party, bar, etc., esp. one playing softly melodious, light, bland, and unobtrusive jazz; (hence) a pianist playing jazz which is characterized in this way (cf. cocktail piano n. (b)).
cocktail piano n. (a) a piano used for playing background music in cocktail bars or similar venues; a piano on which music of this type (characterized as softly melodious, light, and bland) is played; (b) a style of playing jazz piano which is characterized as softly melodious, light, and bland.
† cocktail powder n. Obsolete (apparently) a flavoured powder used as a ready-made ingredient for cocktails.
cocktail sauce n. any of various sauces typically served with seafood; now esp. (a) (in North America) a spicy tomato sauce containing horseradish or chilli; (b) (in Britain, Australia, and elsewhere) a mild pink creamy sauce made with mayonnaise and tomato purée or ketchup (cf. Marie Rose n.).
cocktail sausage n. a small sausage of a type served cold as party food, esp. on a cocktail stick.
cocktail shaker n. a container in which the ingredients of a cocktail are vigorously shaken to mix them.
cocktail-shaking n. and adj. (a) n. the action or process of vigorously shaking the ingredients of a cocktail to mix them; (b) adj. characterized by cocktail-shaking.
cocktail stick n. a small pointed stick on which small items of party food, or pieces of garnish for a cocktail, may be served, and which may also be used for other purposes (see e.g. quot. 1928).Cf. cocktail onion n., cocktail sausage n.Rare in North American usage.
cocktail suit n. a semi-formal suit, esp. for women, appropriate for wearing at a cocktail party.
cocktail table n. a table on which to place cocktails or other drinks; (in later use usually) (North American) a low table typically placed in front of a sofa or armchair; a coffee table.
cocktail time n. a time at which cocktails are drunk; spec. the early evening, as a time of day associated with drinking cocktails as a social activity; cf. cocktail hour n.
cocktail umbrella n. (a) a stylish umbrella, suitable for use as an accessory at a cocktail party (rare); (b) a miniature umbrella, typically made from a toothpick and brightly coloured or patterned paper, used to decorate cocktails, desserts, etc.
cocktail waitress n. a waitress who serves cocktails or other drinks in a cocktail bar or similar venue.
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