An entrée in modern French table service and that of much of the English-speaking world (apart from the United States and parts of Canada) is a dish served before the main course of a meal; it may be the first dish served, or it may follow a soup or other small dish or dishes. In the United States and parts of Canada, an entrée is the main dish or the only dish of a meal.

Historically, the entrée was one of the stages of the “Classical Order” of formal French table service of the 18th and 19th centuries. It formed a part of the “first service” of the meal, which consisted of potage, hors d’œuvre, and entrée (including the bouilli and relevé). The “second service” consisted of roast (rôti), salad, and entremets (the entremets sometimes being separated into a “third service” of their own). The final service consisted only of dessert.[3]:3–11 :13–25