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Dinner usually refers to the most significant and important meal of the day, which can be the noon or the evening meal. However, the term "dinner" can have many different meanings depending on the culture; it may mean a meal of any size eaten at any time of day.
- A man is in general better pleased when he has a good dinner upon his table, than when his wife talks Greek.
- Samuel Johnson, quoted in the "Apophthegms, Sentiments, Opinions and Occasional Reflections" of Sir John Hawkins (1787-1789) in Johnsonian Miscellanies (1897), vol. II, p. 11, edited by George Birkbeck Hill
- Let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven't been teaching you what it means to be an American, let 'em know and nail 'em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.
- Ronald Reagan, Farewell Address, Washington, D. C. (11 January 1989) - Full text online
- But dinner is dinner, a meal at which not so much to eat — it becomes difficult to eat much at it as you grow older — as to drink, to talk, to flirt, to discuss, to rejoice "at the closing of the day". I do not think anything serious should be done after it, as nothing should before breakfast.
- George Saintsbury, A Scrap Book (London: Macmillan, 1922) p. 31
- A dinner lubricates business.
- William Scott, 1st Baron Stowell, as quoted in Life of Johnson (1791) by James Boswell, Vol. viii., p. 67, note.
- It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages.
- Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Book I, Chapter II, p. 19. (1776)