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1. A lunch, especially a formal one.
2. An afternoon party at which a light meal is served.
[Probably alteration (influenced by dialectal lunch, hunk of cheese or bread) of obsolete nuncheon, light snack, from Middle English nonshench : none, noon; see noon + schench, drink (from Old English scenc, from scencan, to pour out).]
a lunch, esp a formal one
[C16: probably variant of nuncheon, from Middle English noneschench, from none noon + schench drink]
lunch, esp. a formal lunch.
[1570–80; dissimilated variant of nuncheon Middle English none(s)chench noon drink]
luncheon- An extension of the word lunch, based on nuncheon, "a drink taken at noon."
See also related terms for noon.