Definition of eat verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//iːt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//iːt//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they eat
    BrE BrE//iːt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//iːt//
    he / she / it eats
    BrE BrE//iːts//
    ; NAmE NAmE//iːts//
    past simple ate
    BrE BrE//et//
    , BrE//eɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//eɪt//
    past participle eaten
    BrE BrE//ˈiːtn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈiːtn//
    -ing form eating
    BrE BrE//ˈiːtɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈiːtɪŋ//
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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 sensibly (= 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). CollocationsDiet and exerciseWeight put on/​gain/​lose weight/​a few kilos/​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 70 kilos/(British English) 11 stone/(especially North American English) 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/​poor body image have/​develop a positive/​healthy body imageHealthy eating eat a balanced diet/​healthily/​sensibly get/​provide/​receive adequate/​proper nutrition contain/​get/​provide essential nutrients/​vitamins/​minerals be high/​low in calories/​fat/​fibre/(especially US English) fiber/​protein/​vitamin D/​Omega-3 fatty acids contain (no)/use/​be full of/​be free from additives/​chemical preservatives/​artificial sweeteners avoid/​cut down on/​cut out alcohol/​caffeine/​fatty foods stop/​give up/ (especially North American English) quit smokingExercise (British English) take regular exercise do moderate/​strenuous/​vigorous exercise play football/​hockey/​tennis go cycling/​jogging/​running go to/​visit/ (especially North American English) 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/(especially British English) fit 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 shall we eat tonight? We ate at a pizzeria in town.
  3. Word OriginOld English etan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch eten and German essen, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin edere and Greek edein. Wordfinderbinge, calorie, diet, digest, eat, fattening, food, meal, restaurant, tasteExtra examples Barton did not feel very hungry and ate sparingly. Come on, eat up your lunch. Do you have anything to eat? Do you want to grab a bite to eat? Everyone happily ate the huge meal. Go and get yourself something to eat and drink. He had not eaten properly for days. He’d barely eaten any breakfast. He’s eating us out of house and home. He’s not eating enough. I’m trying to eat more healthily. Let’s go eat. She doesn’t eat sensibly. She’s very thin but she eats like a horse! Try and eat something. It will do you good. We ate very well most of the time. We eventually sat down to eat at 8.30 p.m. We went out to eat for a Chinese New Year celebration. You look good enough to eat! I can’t be bothered to cook. Shall we eat out tonight? I couldn’t eat another thing. I don’t eat meat. You can eat really well without spending a fortune.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. 1to criticize or punish somebody severely because you are extremely angry with them He’ll eat you alive if he ever finds out. See related entries: Anger
    2. 2to defeat somebody completely in an argument, a competition, etc. The defence lawyers are going to eat you alive tomorrow.
    3. 3[usually passive] (of insects, etc.) to bite somebody many times I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes.
    eat, drink and be merry
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    (saying) said to encourage somebody to enjoy life now, while they can, and not to think of the future
    (informal) 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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    (especially British English) to feel very unhappy, especially because you want somebody/something you cannot have I’m not going to mope at home, eating my heart out for some man.
    eat humble pie (North American English also eat crow)
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    to say and show that you are sorry for a mistake that you made From a pun on the old word umbles, meaning ‘offal’, which was considered to be food for poor people.
    (informal) 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 somebody 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
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    (informal, often humorous) to eat a lot of somebody else’s food How much longer is he staying? He’s eating us out of house and home. More Like This Alliteration in idioms belt and braces, black and blue, born and bred, chalk and cheese, chop and change, done and dusted, down and dirty, in dribs and drabs, eat somebody out of house and home, facts and figures, fast and furious, first and foremost, forgive and forget, hale and hearty, hem and haw, kith and kin, mix and match, part and parcel, puff and pant, to rack and ruin, rant and rave, risk life and limb, short and sweet, signed and sealed, spic and span, through thick and thin, this and that, top and tail, tried and tested, wax and waneSee worksheet.
    to admit that what you said was wrong
    have your cake and eat it (British English) (also have your cake and eat it too North American English, British English)
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    to have the advantages of something without its disadvantages; to have both things that are available
    (informal) used to say that you are very hungry (informal) 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, etc?
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    (informal) used to ask what somebody is annoyed or worried about
    Phrasal Verbseat somethingawayeat away at somebodyeat into somethingeat outeat upeat somebody upeat somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: eat