Definition of a Multi-Course Meal:
"A full course dinner is a dinner consisting of multiple dishes, or courses. In its simplest form, it can consist of three or four courses, such as soup, salad, meat and dessert."
"In formal dining a full course dinner can consist of five, seven, eight, ten or twelve courses, and, in its extreme form, has been known to have twenty-one courses. In these more formalized dining events, the courses are carefully planned to complement each other gastronomically. The courses are smaller and spread out over a long evening, up to three, four or five hours, and follow conventions of menu planning that have been established over many years."
"Most courses (excluding some light courses such as sorbets) in the most formal full course dinners are usually accompanied by ("paired with") a different wine, liqueur, or other spirit; today, craft beers and sakes are increasingly being integrated into the pairings."
"Table settings can be elaborate. More ostentatious settings sometimes include all silverware and glassware that will be needed for the entire meal, and lay out the silverware so that the outermost tools are used for the dishes appearing earliest on the menu. In this scheme, when the diner is served the first course, he can depend on finding the correct implement at the outermost edge of the arrangement."
"Polite society, in its attempt to avoid ostentation, arranges the place setting so that only the implements needed for the first one or two courses appear in the table setting. As the dinner progresses and new courses arrive, used implements are removed with the dishes, and new silverware is placed next to the plates. (A diner at a formal dinner can not properly be asked to use the same implement for more than one course.) This scheme is also more practical because one cannot anticipate whether a diner may select, say, a thick cream soup or a clear soup in a menu offering him a choice. As each of these soups has its own unique spoon, it would be considered improper and impractical to lay out a spoon that may not be needed or correct."
 Example meal
An example of a twenty-one course dinner follows:
1. Palate cleanser, or amuse
2. Second amuse
4. Cold appetizer
6. Thin soup
10. Intermezzo (Sorbet)
12. Wild mushrooms
15. Puffed pastry filled with herbed mousse
20. Petit four