American English

Definition of eat verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they eat
    he / she / it eats
    past simple ate
    past participle eaten
    -ing form eating
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to put food in your mouth, chew it, and swallow it I was too nervous to eat. She doesn't eat healthily (= doesn't eat food that is good for her). eat something I don't eat meat. Would you like something to eat? I couldn't eat another thing (= I have had enough food). Topic CollocationsDiet and Exerciseweight put on/gain/lose weight/a few pounds watch/control/struggle with your weight be/become seriously overweight/underweight be/become clinically/morbidly obese achieve/facilitate/promote/stimulate weight loss slim down to 160 pounds combat/prevent/tackle/treat obesity develop/have/suffer from/struggle with/recover from anorexia/bulimia/an eating disorder be on/go on/follow a crash/strict diet have/suffer from a negative/distorted body image have/develop a positive/healthy/realistic body imagehealthy eating eat a balanced diet/healthily/well get/provide/receive adequate/proper nutrition contain/get/provide essential nutrients/vitamins/minerals be high/low in calories/fat/fiber/protein/vitamin D/Omega-3 fatty acids/trans-fats contain (no)/use/be full of/be free from additives/chemical preservatives/artificial sweeteners/high-fructose corn syrup avoid/cut down on/cut out alcohol/caffeine/fatty foods stop/quit smokingexercise get regular exercise do moderate/strenuous/vigorous exercise play football/hockey/tennis/soccer go jogging/running go to/visit/hit/work out at the gym strengthen/tone/train your stomach muscles contract/relax/stretch/use/work your lower-body muscles build (up)/gain muscle improve/increase your stamina/energy levels/physical fitness burn/consume/expend caloriesstaying healthy be/get/keep/stay healthy/in shape lower your cholesterol/blood pressure boost/stimulate/strengthen your immune system prevent/reduce the risk of heart disease/high blood pressure/diabetes/osteoporosis reduce/relieve/manage/combat stress enhance/promote relaxation/physical and mental well-being
  2. 2[intransitive] to have a meal Where should we eat tonight? We ate at a pizzeria in town.
  3. Idioms
    (a case of) dog eat dog
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    a situation in business, politics, etc. where there is a lot of competition and people are willing to harm each other in order to succeed I'm afraid in this line of work it's a case of dog eat dog. We're operating in a dog-eat-dog world.
      eat somebody alive (informal)
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    1. 1[usually passive] (of insects, etc.) to bite someone many times I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes.
    2. 2to defeat someone completely in an argument, a competition, etc. The defense lawyers are going to eat you alive tomorrow.
    3. 3to criticize or punish someone severely because you are extremely angry with them He'll eat you alive if he ever finds out.
    eat crow (also eat humble pie)
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    to say and show that you are sorry for a mistake that you made
    eat, drink, and be merry (saying)
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    said to encourage someone to enjoy life now, while they can, and not to think of the future
    eat your heart out! (informal)
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    used to compare two things and say that one of them is better Look at him dance! Eat your heart out, Fred Astaire (= he dances even better than Fred Astaire).
    eat your heart out (for somebody/something)
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    to feel very unhappy, especially because you want someone or something you cannot have I'm not going to mope at home, eating my heart out for some man.
    eat like a horse (informal)
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    to eat a lot She may be thin, but she eats like a horse.
    eat out of your/somebody's hand
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    to trust someone and be willing to do what they say She'll have them eating out of her hand in no time.
    eat somebody out of house and home (informal) (often humorous)
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    to eat a lot of someone else's food How much longer is he staying? He's eating us out of house and home.
    eat your words
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    to admit that what you said was wrong
    have your cake and eat it too
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    to have the advantages of something without its disadvantages; to have both things that are available
    I could eat a horse (informal)
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    used to say that you are very hungry
    I'll eat my hat (informal)
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    used to say that you think something is very unlikely to happen If she's here on time, I'll eat my hat!
    what's eating him, her, etc? (informal)
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    used to ask what someone is annoyed or worried about
    Phrasal Verbseat somethingawayeat away at something/somebodyeat into somethingeat outeat upeat somebody upeat somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: eat