Middle English , from mete Old English ( mete “ meat, food ”), from Proto-Germanic ( *matiz “ food ”), from Proto-Indo-European ( *mad- “ to drip, ooze; grease, fat ”). Cognate with Frisian , Old Saxon mete , Old High German meti ( maz “ food ”), Old Icelandic , Gothic matr ( 𐌼𐌰𐍄𐍃 mats), from a Proto-Germanic . A *matiz -ja- derivation from the same base is found in Middle Dutch and Middle Low German ( met “ lean pork ”), whence Modern Low German ( Mett “ minced meat ”) (whence 16th c. German ( Mettwurst “ a kind of sausage ”))
Probably cognate with Old Irish
( mess “ animal feed ”), Welsh ( mes “ acorns ”) or Albanian ( mish “ meat, flesh ”). The further etymology is uncertain. Some suggest derivation from a Indo-European verb base cognate with Latin ( madere “ to be wet ”), Greek ( μαστός mastós, “ wet, breast ”).
meat ( , countable and uncountable plural ) meats
( now archaic , dialectal ) Food, for animals or humans, especially solid food. See also . meat and drink [from 8th c.]
1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Matthew XXV:
I was anhongred, and ye gave me
meate. I thursted, and ye gave me drinke.
1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, II.8:
And he was pleased to accompany them in their death; for, he pined away by abstaining from all manner of
1623, William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens:
Your greatest want is, you want much of
meat: / Why should you want? Behold, the Earth hath Rootes [...].
1879, Silas Hocking, Her Benny
As full of fun and frolic as an egg is full of
1936, Djuna Barnes, Nightwood, Faber & Faber 2007, p. 13:
The way she said ‘dinner’ and the way she said ‘champagne’ gave
meat and liquid their exact difference [...].
( now rare ) A type of food, a dish. [from 9th c.]
1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book X:
Sir Palomydes entyrde into the castell; and within a whyle he was served with many dyverse
( now archaic ) A meal. [from 9th c.]
1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Matthew ch. 8:
And hit cam to passe, thatt Jesus satt at
meate in his housse.
( uncountable ) The flesh of an animal used as food. [from 14th c.]
2010, Andy Atkins, The Guardian, 19 Oct 2010:
While people who eat no
meat at all are identified and identifiable as vegetarians, there is no commonly accepted term for people who eat it only a couple of times a week and are selective about its quality.
Is that meat halal to eat?
( uncountable ) Any relatively thick, solid part of a fruit, nut etc. [from 15th c.]
The apple looked fine on the outside, but the meat was not very firm.
( slang ) a penis. [from 16th c.]
1993, Nancy Friday, Women on top: how real life has changed women's sexual fantasies, page 538
He sits me on the floor (the shower is still beating down on us). He lays me down and slides his huge
meat into me.
2006 John Patrick, Play Hard, Score Big, page 54
Just the tight, hot caress of his bowels surrounding my
meat gave me pleasures I had only dreamed of before that day.
2006, John Patrick, Lover Boys, page 169
I went to town with my tongue, licking that big
meat up and down.
2011, Wade Wright, Two Straight Guys, page 41
Both men were completely, and very actively into this face fucking! Suddenly Bill pulled off of Jim's
meat and said,
( countable ) A type of meat, by anatomic position and provenance. [from 16th c.]
The butchery's profit rate on various meats varies greatly
( colloquial ) The best or most substantial part of something. [from 16th c.]
1577. Gerald Eades Bentley, The Arte of Angling
...it is time to begin "A Dialogue between Viator and Piscator," which is the
meat of the matter.
We recruited him right from the meat of our competitor.
( sports ) The sweet spot of a bat or club (in cricket, golf, baseball etc.). [from 20th c.]
He hit it right on the meat of the bat. A
Throw it in here, meat.
( Australian Aboriginal ) A totem, or ( by metonymy ) a clan or clansman which uses it.
1949, Oceania, Vol. XX
When a stranger comes to an aboriginal camp or settlement in north-western NSW, he is asked by one of the older aborigines: "What
meat (clan) are you?"
1973, M. Fennel & A. Grey, Nucoorilma
Granny Sullivan was ‘dead against’ the match at first because they did not know "what my
meat was and because I was a bit on the fair side."
1977, A. K. Eckermann, Group Organisation and Identity
Some people maintained that she was "sung" because her family had killed or eaten the "
meat" (totem) of another group.
1992, P. Taylor Tell it Like it Is
Our family […] usually married the red kangaroo "
1993, J. Janson, Gunjies
That’s a beautiful goanna. […]. He’s my
meat, can’t eat him.
Usage notes Edit
The meaning "flesh of an animal used as food" is often understood to exclude
fish and other seafood. For example, the rules for abstaining from meat in the Roman Catholic Church do not extend to fish; likewise, some people who consider themselves vegetarians also eat fish (though the more precise term for such a person is pescetarian).
Derived terms Edit
animal flesh used as food
മാംസം ( (ml) māmsam) Maltese:
Mingrelian: please add this translation if you can Mongolian:
( мах mah) Navajo:
atsįʼ Ngazidja Comorian:
nyama class 9/ 10 Norwegian:
Occitan: please add this translation if you can Old Church Slavonic:
мѧсо ( n męso) Old Portuguese:
Old Provençal: please add this translation if you can
Ossetian: please add this translation if you can Pashto:
غوښه (ps) ( f ǧwëẍa) Persian:
گوشت ( (fa) gušt)
Pitjantjatjara: please add this translation if you can Polish:
mięso (pl) n Portuguese:
carne (pt) f Romanian:
carne (ro) f Romansch:
charn f ( Rumantsch Grischun, Puter, Vallader , ) carn f ( Sursilvan , ) tgarn f ( Sutsilvan , ) tgern f ( Surmiran ) Russian:
мясо (ru) ( n mjáso) Sanskrit:
( मांसं mā̃san)
Sardinian: please add this translation if you can Scottish Gaelic:
feòil f Serbo-Croatian:
месо n Roman:
meso n Sinhalese:
( මස් mas) Skolt Sami:
mäso n Slovene:
meso (sl) n Sorbian:
měso n Sotho:
nama (st) Spanish:
carne (es) f Swahili:
nyama (sw) class 9/ 10 Swedish:
kött (sv) n Tagalog:
, karne laman Tajik:
( гӯшт güšt) Talysh:
( گوژد gužd) Tamil:
இறைச்சி ( (ta) iṟaicci) Tatar:
ит ( (tt) it) Telugu:
మాంసం ( (te) māmsam) Thai:
( เนื้อ néua) Tibetan:
( ཤ sha), ( གཟོལ་དཀྲུམ gzol dkrum) ( honorific form ) Tocharian B:
misa Tok Pisin:
et (tr) Turkmen:
( эът èt) Ukrainian:
м'ясо (uk) ( n m'jáso) Urdu:
گوشت ( m gośt), مانس ( m mā̃s) Uyghur:
گۆش ( (ug) göş) Uzbek:
thịt (vi) Volapük:
mit (vo) Welsh:
cig (cy) m West Frisian:
fleis n Yiddish:
פֿלייש ( n fleysh) Zulu:
inyama class 9/ 10 ǃXóõ:
solid edible part of a plant
hansworst , (nl) lulvent m
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
Translations to be checked
third-person singular present active indicative of meō Last modified on 4 December 2013, at 00:25