vict·ual | \ˈvi-tᵊl \

Definition of victual 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : food usable by people

2 victuals plural : supplies of food : provisions


victualed or victualled; victualing or victualling

Definition of victual (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to supply with food

intransitive verb

1 : eat

2 : to lay in provisions

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Synonyms for victual

Synonyms: Verb

board, cater, feed, provision

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Did You Know?


If you're hungry for the story behind victual, get ready to dig into a rich and fulfilling history. The word derives via Middle English and Anglo-French from the Latin noun victus, meaning "nourishment" or "way of living." Victus derives from the verb vivere, which means "to live" and which is the source of a whole smorgasbord of other English words like vital, vivid, and survive. It's also the root of viand, another English word referring to food. There's also vittles, a word that sounds like it might be an alteration of the plural victuals but which actually entered English a century before victual.

Examples of victual in a Sentence


the navy was usually equipped, clothed and victualled by the Crown that evening the travelers victualed sumptuously on partridge and venison

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Scholars long thought that the capability to construct and victual a watercraft and then navigate it to a distant coast arrived only with advent of agriculture and animal domestication. Andrew Lawler, Science | AAAS, "Neandertals, Stone Age people may have voyaged the Mediterranean," 24 Apr. 2018

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

First Known Use of victual


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1558, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for victual


Middle English vitaille, victuayle, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin victualia, plural, provisions, victuals, from neuter plural of victualis of nourishment, from Latin victus nourishment, way of living, from vivere to live — more at quick entry 1

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The first known use of victual was in the 15th century

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Comments on victual

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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