\ 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

Other Words from meat

meated \ ˈmē-​təd How to pronounce meat (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 Something magical happens when this combination of spices is heated and combined with cooked vegetables or meat. Rachel Gurjar, Bon Appétit, 16 May 2022 There was also meat from local cows that Russian soldiers had shot. Isabel Coles, WSJ, 16 May 2022 Angie Goodman, a housekeeper from Culver City, Calif., usually eats meat once a week. New York Times, 15 May 2022 With many of these smaller or less cohesive ingredients—like sliced veggies, shrimp, or cubed meat—skewering is the way to go. Audrey Bruno, SELF, 14 May 2022 Young errand boys shuttled in supplies of bread, rice and meat. Rob Goss, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 May 2022 Rather than traditional bread-and-butter issues — inflation, taxes, jobs — the GOP primary has feasted on red-meat ones. Karen Heller, Washington Post, 13 May 2022 At Subway Restaurants across the U.S., rotisserie chicken wraps and sandwiches have less meat. Leslie Patton And Bloomberg, Fortune, 12 May 2022 Some fridges also offer humidity controls on crisper drawers, meat or deli drawers and other features for keeping foods at the ideal storage temp. Nicole Papantoniou, Good Housekeeping, 10 May 2022 See More

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.

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"

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best meat thermometers.

Learn More About meat

Time Traveler for meat

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for meat

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Meat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for meat


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on meat

Nglish: Translation of meat for Spanish Speakers

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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