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fast food (usually uncountable, plural fast foods)

  1. Food that is served quickly, often standardized and pre-prepared.
  2. A type of food that is quickly made, but of low nutritional value; junk food.
    • 1980, Arthur Asa Berger, Television As An instrument of Terror, page 189:
      In the course of the last decade, it has become the dominant “fast-food” franchise in America—and it is now spreading abroad, carrying its gospel of machine technology wedded to cheap hamburgers wherever it can find a mouth-hold, and converting anyone it can to the glories of junk food
    • 1986, Consumer Guide, “JUNK. OR. GEMS?”, in 1000s of free things: or almost free› books, page 131:
      Everyone loves some junk food some of the time. That's why there are more than 140,000 fast food restaurants in the U.S.
    • 1999, Carol Silverman Saunders, Safe at School: Awareness and Action for Parents of Kids Grades K-12:
      In high schools with open campuses, students leave at lunchtime to buy fast food elsewhere. Since leaving school is unsafe, schools are opting to serve less nutritious foods so the students stay on campus. For example, many schools have invited junk food franchises into their cafeterias, including Subway, Taco Bell, and Domino's.
    • 2012 June 6, Dawn C. Chmielewski, “Disney bans junk-food advertising on programs for children”, in Los Angeles Times:
      Disney even chose to stop licensing its film characters for McDonald’s Happy Meals, citing the link between fast food and childhood obesity.
    • 2019 January 15, Lauren Tousignant, “Junk food ads overwhelmingly target black, Hispanic kids”, in New York Post:
      Junk food companies spent billions of advertising dollars in 2017 targeting black and Hispanic kids, a new study has revealed. / Television ads for fast food, sugary drinks and fatty or salty snacks are almost exclusively targeted to minority youth, the report, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found.
  3. Anything standardized, quickly available, and inexpensive, often, of low value.
    • 2002 March 29, “Going Offshore”, in TIME:
      The best evidence is that Sandals, the fast-food king of island weddings, now markets the term weddingmoons.
    • 2007, Margo Candela, Life over easy:
      Guys are good for two things: 1) help when you need to move something heavy, and 2) fast-food sex where you always know what's on the menu and, with a little work, you can supersize it
    • 2008 August 19, Carmen K. Sisson, “A Georgia church tries drive-in worship”, in Christian Science Monitor, page 25:
      Outside, the drive-in crowd is heading back into the Sturm und Drang of city traffic and a fast-food world


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From English fast food.


fast food m or f (in variation) (plural fast foods)

  1. fast food (type of meal that is often pre-prepared and served quickly)