ban·quet (bngkwt) KEY
ban·quet·ed, ban·quet·ing, ban·quets
Old French, diminutive of banc, bench ; see bank3
The linguistic stock of the word banquet has been fluctuating for a long time. The Old French word banquet, the likely source of our word, is derived from Old French banc, "bench," ultimately of Germanic origin. The sense development in Old French seems to have been from "little bench" to "meal taken on the family workbench" to "feast." The English word banquet is first recorded in a work possibly composed before 1475 with reference to a feast held by the god Apollo, and it appears to have been used from the 15th to the 18th century to refer to the feasts of the powerful and the wealthy. Perhaps this association led a 19th-century newspaper editor to label the word "grandiloquent" because it was being appropriated by those lower down on the social scale.