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

abecedarian, basal, basic, beginning, elemental, elementary, essential, fundamental, introductory, rudimental, rudimentary, underlying

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

Mix up family dinner with a delicious spin on the beloved meat and potato combo. Taylor Murray, Country Living, "Lamb Chops With Roasted Potatoes and Radishes," 11 Mar. 2019 Him and Ray Kennedy were really responsible for the meat and potatoes of the whole thing. Jason Scott, Billboard, "'Car Wheels on a Gravel Road' Turns 20: Lucinda Williams & Producer Steve Earle Reflect on Her Masterpiece," 30 June 2018 This classic meat and potatoes combo is joined by sweet corn for crunch and the taste of summer ahead, then finished with a scattering of fresh thyme for a subtle, earthy sweetness. For Kroger, The Courier-Journal, "It's outdoor dining season: celebrate with zesty grilling dinner packets," 26 May 2018 Newman cooks everything from meat and potatoes to vegan at pHuel, located in downtown Cleveland's Playhouse Square and near Cleveland Clinic's main campus. Debbi Snook,, "Cleveland chefs cook up surprises for families at Ronald McDonald House (photos, recipes)," 4 Apr. 2018 This is a great recipe for leftover meat and potatoes. Linda Gassenheimer, miamiherald, "New England specialty perfect for leftover meat, potatoes | Miami Herald," 2 Apr. 2018 This city is full of top-notch restaurants, and the meat and potato-loving crowds are finally warming up to more dynamic, ethnic and innovative food concepts. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Ultimate Guide to Pittsburgh, America's Most Underrated City," 17 Aug. 2016 The addition of lemon and white wine brings depth and brightness of flavor to an otherwise run-of-the-mill meal of meat and potatoes. Cheryl Slocum, Country Living, "Potatoes and Sausages with Olives, Lemon, and Parsley," 22 Dec. 2010 Vegan Mushroom Stout Pie and Potato Biscuits Swap your classic meat and potatoes combo with a vegan-friendly mushroom stout pie, like this one by Isa Chandra. Blake Bakkila,, "13 Healthy Food Swaps for St. Patrick's Day on Pinterest," 15 Mar. 2018

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

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

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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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showing courage and determination

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