Definition of meat-and-potatoes

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of fundamental importance : basic also : concerned with or emphasizing the basic aspects of something
2 : unpretentious, simple a real meat-and-potatoes guy
3 : providing or preferring simple food (such as meat and potatoes)

Definition of meat and potatoes (Entry 2 of 2)

: the most interesting or fundamental part : meat sense 4

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Synonyms & Antonyms for meat-and-potatoes

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of meat-and-potatoes in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction This will continue to put pressure on Fox to satiate the audience with opinion and outrage content, not meat and potatoes news. Brian Stelter, CNN, "Newsmax's post-election ratings bonanza is over. What now?," 11 Mar. 2021 By the time that just over eleven million Brits tuned in to the interview on Monday evening, what remained to be parsed was context: not the meat and potatoes of the interview but the amuse-bouches and the garnishes. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "The British Reaction to the Meghan-and-Harry Interview," 9 Mar. 2021 Chaos Walking works as meat and potatoes entertainment, one that blessedly does not end on a cliffhanger for a sequel that will likely never come. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, "Review: ‘Chaos Walking’ Is A Surprisingly Good YA Fantasy," 3 Mar. 2021 Just meat and potatoes, the bow was born for the whitetail woods. Jace Bauserman, Outdoor Life, "The Best New Compound Bows for 2021," 7 Jan. 2021 Pair with latkes for the ultimate meat and potatoes dinner. Washington Post, "8 traditional and modern Hanukkah recipes, including latkes, doughnuts and more," 5 Dec. 2020 That greater mythology was the gravy, but the Winchesters were the meat and potatoes, two urban legends who stuck together on cross-country road trips and carved their own place in Americana. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "After 'Supernatural' series finale, the Winchester brothers will carry on in our hearts," 20 Nov. 2020 For those of us lucky enough to be safe and able to work from home, November and December are bringing back TV meat and potatoes fare, along with some more gourmet items. oregonlive, "Here’s when ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘NCIS,’ ‘Law & Order: SVU’ return, plus more TV highlights (’The Crown,’ ‘Shameless’)," 4 Nov. 2020 The Southerleigh team scrapped their original plans to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner at Mon Chou Chou for a single all-day menu of hearty and comforting dishes such as coq a vin and steak frites — literally meat and potatoes. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, "Dozens of S.A. restaurants opening in 2020. Are owners insane?," 29 Oct. 2020

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

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First Known Use of meat-and-potatoes


1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction

1951, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for meat-and-potatoes

Time Traveler

The first known use of meat-and-potatoes was in 1846

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Cite this Entry

“Meat-and-potatoes.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of meat-and-potatoes

 (Entry 1 of 2)

chiefly US, informal
: of, relating to, or preferring simple food (such as meat and potatoes) instead of fancy food
: ordinary or simple

meat and potatoes


English Language Learners Definition of meat and potatoes (Entry 2 of 2)

US, informal : the most basic or important part of something

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