\ ˈmēt How to pronounce meat (audio) \

Definition of meat

1a : food especially : solid food as distinguished from drink
b : the edible part of something as distinguished from its covering (such as a husk or shell)
2 : animal tissue considered especially as food:
a : flesh sense 2b also : flesh of a mammal as opposed to fowl or fish
b : flesh sense 1a specifically : flesh of domesticated animals
3 archaic : meal entry 1 sense 1 especially : dinner
4a : the core of something : heart
b : pith sense 2b a novel with meat
5 : favorite pursuit or interest

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from meat

meated \ ˈmē-​təd How to pronounce meated (audio) \ adjective
meatless adjective

Synonyms for meat



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of meat in a Sentence

The restaurant serves a variety of meats. The real meat of the book is found in its discussion of his economic plan.

Recent Examples on the Web

Use it for fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and eggshells, but not yard trimmings, meat or bones, Caldwell said. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "How to recycle like a pro in Anchorage," 7 June 2019 His remarks were briefly interrupted by a protester from a group that accuses the retailer of sourcing chicken meat from farms that keep animals in inhumane conditions. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "Bezos Says Amazon Will Bet Even Bigger Despite Antitrust Probes," 6 June 2019 In the Kansas City Barbecue Society world, teams typically prepare four meats at each competition: chicken, pork ribs, pork (Boston butt, Boston roast, picnic or whole shoulder) and beef brisket. Sarah Kuta, The Denver Post, "Barbecue becomes a competitive sport as cooks go to great lengths to win the Colorado BBQ Challenge," 6 June 2019 The meat-eating, football-loving Matcek’s answer concerning alcohol sales at Kyle Field surprised me a morsel. Brent Zwerneman,, "Texas A&M treading carefully on whether to sell alcohol at sports events," 5 June 2019 But the parasite can be found in the food supply in other countries, which is why experts advise avoiding raw meat while traveling overseas. Maggie O'neill,, "This Woman Thought She Had a Brain Tumor, but It Was Actually a Tapeworm," 4 June 2019 Higher pork prices have driven some restaurants and families to serve chicken, beef or lamb instead, pushing the price of these meats up. New York Times, "A Slower Economy. A Trade War. Now, China Faces Rising Food Prices.," 4 June 2019 Prep: Cut meat into 1½ inch pieces and toss in a bowl with 2 tablespoons oil and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Kate Merker, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grill Like a Pro This Summer," 20 May 2019 Cooking barley in your pressure cooker will cut down on prep time for this meat-free main. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Barley Salad with Strawberries and Buttermilk Dressing," 29 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'meat.' 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 meat

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

History and Etymology for meat

Middle English mete "food, meal," going back to Old English, going back to Germanic *mati- (whence Old Saxon meti, mat "food," Old High German maz, Old Norse matr, Gothic mats), perhaps going back to Indo-European *mod-i-, derivative of a verbal base *med- "become full," whence Greek mestós "full, satiated"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about meat

Statistics for meat

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for meat

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for meat



English Language Learners Definition of meat

: the flesh of an animal used as food
: a type of meat
: the part of something (such as a nut) that can be eaten


\ ˈmēt How to pronounce meat (audio) \

Kids Definition of meat

1 : the flesh of an animal used as food
Hint: The word meat often does not include the flesh of fish or seafood.
2 : solid food as distinguished from drink
3 : the part of something that can be eaten nut meats
4 : the most important part : substance Get to the meat of the story.

Other Words from meat

meatless \ -​ləs \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on meat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with meat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for meat

Spanish Central: Translation of meat

Nglish: Translation of meat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of meat for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about meat

Comments on meat

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


behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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