Definition of aspic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈaspɪk/


[mass noun]
A savoury jelly made with meat stock, set in a mould and used to contain pieces of meat, seafood, or eggs: chicken in aspic figurative a world preserved in aspic, far removed from mass unemployment
More example sentences
  • In the kitchen, things which may need clarification are stock, clear soup, aspic, jelly, etc.
  • With many names - Jell-O, aspic, jelly, gelee and so on - gelatin has an identity of its own.
  • He came back with an armload of ready-to-eat goodies, bone-in ham and duck terrine and delicious eggs in aspic and cheese and freshly baked bread, which we served with a simple salad with toasted pumpkin seeds.


Late 18th century: from French, literally 'asp', from the colours of the jelly as compared with those of the snake.

  • This jelly gets its name from the French word for a snake which appears in English as ‘asp’—a small southern European viper, which gets its name from Greek. There has been much debate why this should be. The best suggestions is that it is from a French expression froid comme un aspic ‘as cold as an asp’, so that the association is the coldness. Other suggestions are that it is something to do with the colour or patterns in the jellies in the 18th century, or with the shape of the moulds used.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: aspic

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