verb (used with object), ate [eyt; especially British et] /eɪt; especially British ɛt/ (Show IPA) or (Archaic) eat [et, eet] /ɛt, it/ (Show IPA), eaten or (Archaic) eat [et, eet] /ɛt, it/ (Show IPA), eating.
to take into the mouth and swallow for nourishment; chew and swallow (food).
to consume by or as if by devouring gradually; wear away; corrode:
The patient was eaten by disease and pain.
to make (a hole, passage, etc.), as by gnawing or corrosion.
to ravage or devastate:
a forest eaten by fire.
to use up, especially wastefully; consume (often followed by up):
Unexpected expenses have been eating up their savings.
to absorb or pay for:
The builder had to eat the cost of the repairs.
Slang: Vulgar. to perform cunnilingus or fellatio on.
verb (used without object), ate [eyt; especially British et] /eɪt; especially British ɛt/ (Show IPA) or (Archaic) eat [et, eet] /ɛt, it/ (Show IPA), eaten or (Archaic) eat [et, eet] /ɛt, it/ (Show IPA), eating.
to consume ; take a meal:
We’ll eat at six o’clock.
to make a way, as by gnawing or corrosion:
Acid ate through the linoleum.
eats, Informal. .
eat away/into, to destroy gradually, as by erosion:
For eons, the pounding waves ate away at the shoreline.
eat out, to have a meal at a restaurant rather than at home.
be eating someone, Informal. to worry, annoy, or bother:
Something seems to be eating him—he’s been wearing a frown all day.
eat crow. 1 (def 7).
eat high off the hog. (def 16).
eat humble pie. (def 3).
eat in, to eat or dine at home.
eat one’s heart out. (def 26).
eat one’s terms. (def 17).
eat one’s words. (def 16).
eat out of one’s hand. (def 49).
eat someone out of house and home, to eat so much as to strain someone’s resources of food or money:
A group of hungry teenagers can eat you out of house and home.
eat someone’s lunch, Slang. to thoroughly defeat, outdo, injure, etc.
eat the wind out of, Nautical. to blanket (a sailing vessel sailing close-hauled) by sailing close on the weather side of.
(informal) articles of food; provisions
verb eats, eating, ate, eaten
to take into the mouth and swallow (food, etc), esp after biting and chewing
(transitive; often foll by away or up) to destroy as if by eating: the damp had eaten away the woodwork
(often foll by into) to use up or waste: taxes ate into his inheritance
often foll by into or through. to make (a hole, passage, etc) by eating or gnawing: rats ate through the floor
to take or have (a meal or meals): we always eat at six
(transitive) to include as part of one’s diet: he doesn’t eat fish
(transitive) (informal) to cause to worry; make anxious: what’s eating you?
(transitive) (slang) to perform cunnilingus or fellatio upon
(informal) I’ll eat my hat if, I will be greatly surprised if (something happens that proves me wrong)
eat one’s heart out, to brood or pine with grief or longing
eat one’s words, to take back something said; recant; retract
eat out of someone’s hand, to be entirely obedient to someone
eat someone out of house and home, to ruin someone, esp one’s parent or one’s host, by consuming all his food
Tanzania (international car registration)
“food,” in use mid-19c. in U.S., considered colloquial, but the same construction with the same meaning was present in Old English.
Old English etan (class V strong verb; past tense æt, past participle eten) “to eat, devour, consume,” from Proto-Germanic *etanan (cf. Old Frisian ita, Old Saxon etan, Middle Dutch eten, Dutch eten, Old High German ezzan, German essen, Old Norse eta, Gothic itan), from PIE root *ed- “to eat” (see edible).
Transferred sense of “slow, gradual corrosion or destruction” is from 1550s. Meaning “to preoccupy, engross” (as in what’s eating you?) first recorded 1893. Slang sexual sense of “do cunnilingus on” is first recorded 1927. Eat out “dine away from home” is from 1933. The slang phrase to eat one’s words is from 1570s; to eat one’s heart out is from 1590s; for eat one’s hat, see hat.
v. ate (āt), eat·en (ēt’n), eat·ing, eats
Food; provender: A soft bed and good eats were paradise enow
earnings after taxes
Tanzania (international vehicle ID)
- Eat shit
verb phrase Related Terms take shit verb phrase Also, eat crap. Submit to degrading treatment, as in He refused to eat shit from the coach. James T. Farrell had the one term in Grandeur (1930), “They don’t eat nobody’s crap,” and Mario Puzo the other in Dark Arena (1955), “He’d eaten shit all week.” [ […]
- Eat someone alive
Overwhelm or defeat someone thoroughly, make short work of someone. For example, Lacking experience in manufacturing, he was eaten alive by his competitors. This slangy hyperbole dates from the early 1900s. A newer slangy variant is eat someone’s lunch, dating from the mid-1900s. For example, It was a decisive victory; he ate the incumbent’s lunch.
- Eat someone out
verb phrase see: eat out , def. 2.
- Eat someone up
see: eat out , def. 2.