eat

verb
\ ˈēt \
ate\ ˈāt , dialectal or British  ˈet \; eaten\ ˈē-​tᵊn \; eating

Definition of eat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to take in through the mouth as food : ingest, chew, and swallow in turn
2a : to destroy, consume, or waste by or as if by eating expenses ate up the profits gadgets that eat up too much space
b : to bear the expense of : take a loss on the team was forced to eat the rest of his contract
3a : to consume gradually : corrode cars eaten away by rust
b : to consume with vexation : bother what's eating you now
4 : to enjoy eagerly or avidly : lap used with up it was an amazing performance and the crowd ate it up
5 usually vulgar : to perform fellatio or cunnilingus on often used with out

intransitive verb

1 : to take food or a meal
2 : to affect something by gradual destruction or consumption usually used with into, away, or at the loss was really eating at herthe controversy ate into his support
eat alive
: to defeat, conquer, or overwhelm completely : crush was eaten alive by the competition
eat one out of house and home
: to consume more than one can easily provide or afford
eat one's heart out
1 : to grieve bitterly
2 : to be jealous
eat one's words
: to retract what one has said
eat out of one's hand
: to accept the domination of another
eat someone's lunch
: to deprive of profit, dominance, or success

eat

noun

Definition of eat (Entry 2 of 2)

: something to eat : food usually used in plural

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from eat

Verb

eater noun

Examples of eat in a Sentence

Verb

You'll feel better if you eat something. I ate a big breakfast so I'm not very hungry. They like to eat at home.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Eating it: Some folks spoon directly into their mouths. Ann Maloney, NOLA.com, "Cajun Caviar? On National Caviar Day, we indulge in Atchafalaya fish eggs," 19 July 2017 New this year to True Nature is a retreat for those with eating disorders and their family members. Plain Dealer Guest Writer, cleveland.com, "Ohio retreat centers offer a break from busy, close to home (photos)," 19 July 2017 However hot dogs may have originated, the council estimates Americans will eat 7 billion of them between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "It’s National Hot Dog Day! So, where are the deals?," 19 July 2017 In fact, a recent survey showed that 36% of Chick-fil-A dinner customers take their meal to go from restaurants to eat at home. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Chick-fil-A Is About to Make Picking Up Dinner Easy and Delicious," 19 July 2017 The casual restaurant and bar also offers an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet at 8 a.m. Sundays. Vickie Snow Jurkowski, Daily Southtown, "Simple cocktail or meal in a glass, the Bloody Mary can be the cure for what ails you," 19 July 2017 Miami was last in the NFL at 57 plays per game last season partly because the offense didn’t convert effectively on third downs, but also because the porous run defense allowed opponents to eat up the clock. Chris Perkins, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Countdown to training camp: Can Burke turn last year’s so-so defense into a top unit? | Analysis," 19 July 2017 Parents and their children can bring a lunch to eat during the program. Michelle Mullins, Naperville Sun, "This Week in Naperville," 18 July 2017 Hammerhead worms contain the same toxin as blowfish and can be harmful if eaten. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "Watch a Mysterious Worm With an Anus for a Mouth," 15 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Market June 29-July 1 The original and largest Asian-themed night market in the United States is back for another summer of gut-busting eats (plus music, games and an art walk), starting this weekend. Brittany Martin, Los Angeles Magazine, "The 7 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Weekend," 27 June 2018 Eight food trucks will offer a variety of eats, including Jamaican, Italian, Asian fusion and vegan. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit and the Jacksons celebrate mutual affection as group returns for festival," 14 June 2018 This Venmo user operates a food cart at University of California, Santa Barbara and sells Latin American eats. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Venmo’s terrible idea," 23 July 2018 Oh, there are great pizza and burger joints here, too, and the City Beautiful is a farmer’s paradise — freshness abounds, even in cheap eats. Mike Pramik, USA TODAY, "10 tastes of Orlando for less than $10," 25 June 2018 Children 12 years old and under eat for free and a second room is 50 percent off. New York Times, "How to Get to and Enjoy a Luxury Trip to Paris for Less," 16 May 2018 Mothers and kids will be let on to the field to play catch on the outfield grass when the Louisville Bats game ends, and children under 12 eat free. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Check out last-minute Mother's Day events and gift ideas in Louisville," 12 May 2018 Lacombe Art Guild monthly members meeting, May 15, Lacombe VFW, 28000 Main St. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. with an eat-and-greet, followed by the meeting at 7 p.m. lacombeartguild.com. Sarah Bonnette, NOLA.com, "Artscape: Sal "Dash" Diecidue celebrates 70 years of creating ironwork," 9 May 2018 Located at 15 Central Park West, the sprawling 5,278-square-foot apartment has four bedrooms, a 34-foot entry gallery, a library and an eat-in kitchen. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "A Top Chinese Oilman Vanishes, and a Manhattan Buying Binge Ends," 25 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of eat

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for eat

Verb

Middle English eten, from Old English etan; akin to Old High German ezzan to eat, Latin edere, Greek edmenai

Noun

Middle English et, from Old English ǣt; akin to Old High German āz food; derivative from the root of eat entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about eat

Statistics for eat

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for eat

The first known use of eat was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for eat

eat

verb

English Language Learners Definition of eat

: to take food into your mouth and swallow it

: to gradually destroy, use, or take away something : to wear something away

: to bother or annoy (someone)

eat

verb
\ ˈēt \
ate\ ˈāt \; eaten\ ˈē-​tᵊn \; eating

Kids Definition of eat

1 : to chew and swallow food
2 : to take a meal Let's eat at home.
3 : to destroy as if by eating : corrode Acids ate away the metal.

Other Words from eat

eater noun

eat

verb
\ ˈēt \
ate\ ˈāt, chiefly British ˈet \; eaten\ ˈēt-​ᵊn \; eating

Medical Definition of eat

transitive verb

1 : to take in through the mouth as food : ingest, chew, and swallow in turn
2 : to consume gradually : corrode

intransitive verb

: to take food or a meal

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on eat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with eat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for eat

Spanish Central: Translation of eat

Nglish: Translation of eat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eat for Arabic Speakers

Comments on eat

What made you want to look up eat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

means, resources, or money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!