Etymology
Advertisement
feast (n.)
c. 1200, "secular celebration with feasting and entertainment" (often held on a church holiday); c. 1300, "religious anniversary characterized by rejoicing" (rather than fasting), from Old French feste "religious festival, holy day; holiday; market, fair; noise, racket; jest, fun" (12c., Modern French fête), from Vulgar Latin *festa (fem. singular; also source of Italian festa, Spanish fiesta), from Latin festa "holidays, feasts, festal banquets," noun use of neuter plural of festus "festive, joyful, merry," related to feriae "holiday" and fanum "temple," from Proto-Italic *fasno- "temple," from PIE *dhis-no- "divine, holy; consecrated place," suffixed form of PIE root *dhes-, forming words for religious concepts.

The spelling -ea- was used in Middle English to represent the sound we mis-call "long e." Meaning "abundant meal" (whether public or private) is by late 14c. Meaning "any enjoyable occasion or event" is from late 14c.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
feast (v.)
c. 1300, "partake of a feast," from Old French fester "to feast, make merry; observe (a holiday)" (Modern French fêter), from feste "religious festival" (see feast (n.)). Related: Feasted; feasting.
Related entries & more 
Festus 
masc. proper name, from Latin, literally "solemn, joyous, festive" (see feast (n.)).
Related entries & more 
fiesta (n.)
1844 as a Spanish word in English, "Spanish-American religious festival," Spanish, literally "feast" (see feast (n.)).
Related entries & more 
festal (adj.)
late 15c., from Old French festal, from Late Latin festalis, from Latin festum "feast" (see feast (n.)).
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
fete (n.)
1754, from French fête "festival, feast," from Old French feste "feast, celebration" (see feast (n.)). If the date is right, first used in English by Horace Walpole (1717-1797).
Related entries & more 
ferial (adj.)
"pertaining to holidays," late 14c., from Old French ferial or directly from Medieval Latin ferialis, from Latin feriae "holidays," during which work and business were suspended and devotions were made (see feast (n.)).
Related entries & more 
festoon (n.)
"string or chain of flowers, ribbon, or other material suspended between two points," 1620s, from French feston (16c.), from Italian festone, literally "a festive ornament," apparently from festa "celebration, feast," from Vulgar Latin *festa (see feast (n.)). The verb is attested from 1789. Related: Festooned.
Related entries & more 
festivity (n.)
"festive celebration, feast," late 14c., from Old French festiveté "celebration, festiveness, festival," from Latin festivitatem (nominative festivitas) "good fellowship, generosity," from festivus "festive," from festum "festival or holiday," neuter of festus "of a feast" (see feast (n.)). Related: Festivities.
Related entries & more 
-fest 
word-forming element in colloquial compounds (hen-fest, gabfest, etc.), from 1889, American English, borrowed from German Fest "festival," abstracted from Volksfest, etc., from Middle High German vëst, from Latin festum "festival or holiday," neuter of festus "of a feast" (see feast (n.)).
Related entries & more