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Lunch is a meal that is taken at noon or in the early afternoon. The term is short for "luncheon" (see below). Lunch is sometimes called "dinner" in Great Britain and parts of the United States and Canada.

Lunch food varies. In some places, very similar things are eaten at lunch as at dinner - a hot meal, sometimes with more than one course. In other places, lunch is actually the main meal of the day, supper being a smaller cold meal. However, since many people eat lunch while at work or school, this can be impractical; more appropriate are relatively simple foods that can be packed in a lunch box. The quintessential lunch food in North America is the sandwich.

Employers and schools usually provide a lunch break in the middle of the day, lasting as much as an hour.

Lunch can often be served as entertainment, especially on weekends; a particularly fancy or formal lunch can be called a luncheon. Such lunches can be served at a restaurant, as a buffet or potluck, or as a sit-down feast. These events are very similar to festive suppers.

Lunch, both simple and fancy, often includes dessert.

Many nutritionists suggest that it is more appropriate to eat a large meal at lunch than it is to do so at supper, just prior to going to sleep, when the energy from the meal will not be properly used.

Continental French for "lunch" is déjeuner, Quebecois French is dîner; in Spanish it is almuerzo, in Italian it is pranzo, in German it is Mittagessen, and in Esperanto it is tagmanĝo (or lunĉo).

See breakfast, brunch, elevenses, high tea, supper, and dessert.