A saucer is a small type of dishware specifically for use with and for supporting a cup - a cylindrical cup intended for coffee or a half-sphere teacup for tea. Additionally, the saucer is a distant cousin to the plate. The saucer has a raised center with a depression sized to fit a mating cup. Saucers were originally used to cool the contents of the cup; the hot liquid was poured into the saucer, with the wider surface area cooling the liquid rapidly. No longer used for this purpose, the saucer is useful to protect surfaces from possible damage due to the heat of a cup, and to catch overflow, splashes, and drips from the cup, so protecting both table linen and the user sitting in a free standing chair who holds both cup and saucer. The saucer also provides a convenient place to place a damp spoon, as might be used to stir the drink in the cup in order to mix sweeteners or creamers into tea or coffee. Not only are saucers used by humans, they are also used by animals, e.g. cats may drink or eat from saucers.

Although often part of a place setting in a dinner set, teacups with unique styling are often sold with matching saucers, sometimes alone, or as part of a tea set, including a teapot and small dessert plates. A set of four is typical for a tea set. See also demitasse.

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  • saucer — [ sose ] v. tr. <conjug. : 3> • v. 1200 sauser fig. « tremper »; de sauce 1 ♦ Vx Tremper dans la sauce. Saucer son pain. Rare Garnir de sauce. « Le pudding saucé d un brûlant velours de rhum » (Colette). 2 ♦ (1915) Mod. Essuyer en enlevant… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Saucer — Sau cer, n. [F. sauci[ e]re, from sauce. See {Sauce}.] 1. A small pan or vessel in which sauce was set on a table. [Obs.] Bacon. [1913 Webster] 2. A small dish, commonly deeper than a plate, in which a cup is set at table. [1913 Webster] 3.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • saucer — [sô′sər] n. [ME sawsere < MFr saussier < sause, SAUCE] 1. a small, round, shallow dish, esp. one with an indentation designed to hold a cup 2. anything round and shallow like a saucer saucerlike adj …   English World dictionary

  • saucer — (n.) mid 14c., from O.Fr. saucier sauce dish, from L.L. salsarium, neuter of salsarius of or for salted things, from L. salsus (see SAUCE (Cf. sauce)). Meaning small, round, shallow vessel for supporting a cup is attested from c.1702 …   Etymology dictionary

  • saucer — ► NOUN ▪ a shallow dish with a central circular indentation, on which a cup is placed. ORIGIN Old French saussier sauce boat …   English terms dictionary

  • saucer — (sô sé ; le c prend une cédille devant a et o ; sauçant, sauçons) v. a. 1°   Tremper dans la sauce. Saucer sa viande, son pain. 2°   Par extension. Tremper dans un liquide quelconque. Saucer des branches dans de l eau.    Il a été saucé dans la… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • saucer — noun /ˈsɔː.sə,ˈsɔ(ː).səɹ,ˈsɒ(ː).sər/ˈsɑ(ː).səɹ/ a) A small shallow dish to hold a cup and catch drips. The saucer shaped object could have been a UFO, but actually it was a balloon. b) An object round and gently curved (shaped like a saucer). See …   Wiktionary

  • saucer */ — UK [ˈsɔːsə(r)] / US [ˈsɔsər] noun [countable] Word forms saucer : singular saucer plural saucers a small round flat dish that you put a tea cup or coffee cup on • See: flying saucer …   English dictionary

  • saucer — noun Etymology: Middle English, plate containing a condiment, from Anglo French, from sauce Date: circa 1702 1. a small shallow dish in which a cup is set at table 2. something resembling a saucer especially in shape; especially flying saucer •… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Saucer — A technical charting formation that indicates that a stock s price has reached its low and that the downward trend has come to a close. Saucer formations will exhibit very low volume figures at the point when the stock s price was the lowest …   Investment dictionary