See also: EAT

English edit

Pronunciation edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English eten, from Old English etan (to eat), from Proto-West Germanic *etan, from Proto-Germanic *etaną (to eat), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁édti, from *h₁ed- (to eat).

Verb edit

Boy eating a mango

eat (third-person singular simple present eats, present participle eating, simple past ate or (dialectal) et or (obsolete) eat, past participle eaten or (dialectal) etten)

  1. To ingest; to be ingested.
    1. (transitive, intransitive) To consume (something solid or semi-solid, usually food) by putting it into the mouth and swallowing it.
      He's eating an apple. / Don't disturb me now; can't you see that I'm eating?
      • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, 1 Corinthians 8:8, column 2:
        But meate commendeth vs not to God: for neither if we eate, are we the better: neither if wee eate not, are we the woꝛſe.
      • 1892, Walter Besant, chapter II, in The Ivory Gate [], New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, [], →OCLC:
        At twilight in the summer there is never anybody to fear—man, woman, or cat—in the chambers and at that hour the mice come out. They do not eat parchment or foolscap or red tape, but they eat the luncheon crumbs.
      • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, in The Unknown Ajax:
        But Richmond [] appeared to lose himself in his own reflections. Some pickled crab, which he had not touched, had been removed with a damson pie; and his sister saw [] that he had eaten no more than a spoonful of that either.
      • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect (Science Fiction), Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, →OCLC, PC, scene: Noveria:
        Shepard: Everyone on this station is chafing under Anoleis' extortion. You might end up a hero.
        Lorik Qui'in: My employers rely on the goodwill of the Executive Board to work here.
        Wrex: If these "executives" don't blame Anoleis for provoking this, they're fools. You should eat them.
    2. (intransitive) To consume a meal.
      What time do we eat this evening?
    3. (intransitive, ergative) To be eaten.
      It's a soup that eats like a meal.
      • 1852, The New Monthly Magazine, page 310:
        I don't know any quarter in England where you get such undeniable mutton—mutton that eats like mutton, instead of the nasty watery, stringy, turnipy stuff, neither mutton nor lamb, that other countries are inundated with.
      • 1863, J[oseph] Sheridan Le Fanu, The House by the Church-yard. [], volumes (please specify |volume=I to III), London: Tinsley, Brothers, [], →OCLC:
        [] dish him [the fish] with slices of oranges, barberries, grapes, gooseberries, and butter; and you will find that he eats deliriously either with farced pain or gammon pain.
    4. (copulative, intransitive) To have a particular quality of diet; to be well-fed or underfed (typically as "eat healthy" or "eat good").
  2. To use up.
    1. (transitive, often with up) To destroy, consume, or use up.
      This project is eating up all the money.
    2. (transitive, programming, informal) To consume (an exception, an event, etc.) so that other parts of the program do not receive it.
      • 2005, Wallace B. McClure, Gregory A. Beamer, John J. Croft IV, Professional ADO.NET 2, page 246:
        A bigger problem, however, is that if you catch/eat an exception and do nothing with it, you are very likely introducing subtle bugs in your application that will be next to impossible to track down.
    3. (transitive, informal, of a device) To damage, destroy, or fail to eject a removable part or an inserted object.
      The VHS recorder just ate the tape and won't spit it out.
      John is late for the meeting because the photocopier ate his report.
    4. (transitive, informal, of a vending machine or similar device) To consume money (or other instruments of value, such as a token) deposited or inserted by a user, while failing to either provide the intended product or service or return the payment.
      The video game in the corner just ate my quarter.
  3. (transitive, informal) To cause (someone) to worry.
    What's eating you?
  4. (transitive, business) To take the loss in a transaction.
    • 1988, George Gallo, Midnight Run (movie)
      I have to have him in court tomorrow, if he doesn't show up, I forfeit the bond and I have to eat the $300,000.
    • 1999, Ronald S. Beitman, Liquor Liability: A Primer for Winning Your Case, page 27:
      The server made an error when taking the order. The bartender prepared two scorpion bowls. When the error was realized the bartender was faced with having to "eat" the extra scorpion bowl []
    • 2011, Lorenzo Carver, Venture Capital Valuation:
      When they were doing it with the valuation professionals, they were billing the client, but the valuation professional in a lot of those early cases had to eat the cost of showing the auditor how the auditors' test model was incorrect.
  5. (transitive, slang) To be injured or killed by (something such as a firearm or its projectile), especially in the mouth.
    • 1944, William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett, Jules Furthman, The Big Sleep (screenplay)
      I risk my whole future, the hatred of the cops and Eddie Mars' gang. I dodge bullets and eat saps.
    • 1991, Stephen King, Needful Things:
      And, of course, there was Brian Rusk, who had eaten a bullet at the ripe old age of eleven.
    • 1997, A. A. Gill, "Diary" (in The Spectator, 1 November 1997):
      Friends are only necessary in the ghastly country, where you have to have them, along with rubber boots and a barometer and secateurs, to put off bucolic idiocy, a wet brain, or eating the 12-bore.
    • 2012, Kaya McLaren, How I Came to Sparkle Again: A Novel, St. Martin's Press, →ISBN:
      Mike had been to other calls where someone had eaten a gun. He knew to expect teeth embedded in the ceiling and brains dripping off it.
    • 2017, Edward W. Robertson, Stardust, Edward W. Robertson:
      The animal was sweating and scared and MacAdams was surprised when they finished up without either of them eating a kick.
    • 2018, Daniel Tomazic, Of Bullies and Men: Young Adult Fiction, →ISBN, page 18:
      There was a resounding smacking noise and Georgy was sure Philip had just eaten a fist.
  6. (transitive, intransitive) To corrode or erode.
    The acid rain ate away the statue.  The strong acid eats through the metal.
  7. (transitive, slang) To perform oral sex (on a person or body part).
    Eat me!
    I ate his ass.
    Yeah, eat that dick / eat that pussy.
  8. (stative, slang) To be very good; to rule; to rock.
    You ate that performance!
    This song eats!
    Synonyms: bang, rule, rock, slap
  9. (transitive, slang) To annex.
Conjugation edit
Synonyms edit
Derived terms edit
Terms derived from eat (verb)
Related terms edit
Translations edit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
See also edit

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English ete, ate, æte, from Old English ǣt (food, eating), from Proto-West Germanic *āt, from Proto-Germanic *ētą (food, thing to eat), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁ed- (to eat). Cognate with North Frisian ad, it (food), German Aas (carrion), Norwegian åt, Icelandic át (food).

Noun edit

eat (plural eats)

  1. (colloquial) Something to be eaten; a meal; a food item.
    • 2011, William Chitty, Nigel Barker, Michael Valos, Integrated Marketing Communications, page 167:
      Eating a Picnic creates a flurry of wafer pieces, flying peanuts and chocolate crumbs. [] As well as being messy, Picnic happens to be a big eat – something of a consumption challenge in fact.

Anagrams edit

Latin edit

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit


  1. third-person singular present active subjunctive of

Northern Sami edit

Pronunciation edit

  • (Kautokeino) IPA(key): /ˈea̯h(t)/

Verb edit


  1. first-person plural present of ii

West Frisian edit

Etymology edit

From Old Frisian āwet, āet, from ā (always, ever) + *wiht ‘thing, creature’. Compare English owt, aught.

Pronunciation edit

Pronoun edit


  1. something, anything
    Antonym: neat

Further reading edit

  • eat”, in Wurdboek fan de Fryske taal (in Dutch), 2011