any dish having a lightly browned, crisp crust on top, esp. one topped with bread crumbs or grated cheese and broiled briefly
Origin of gratinFr, bread crumbs, scrapings from gratter, to scrape, grate
- A top crust consisting of bread crumbs or grated cheese mixed with butter and browned in the oven.
- A dish topped with such a crust: “I find gratins so easy that I probably make them more than any other dish” ( Martha Rose Shulman )
Origin of gratinFrench from obsolete grater to scratch, scrape from Old French; see grate 1.