the food served and eaten especially at one of the customary, regular occasions for taking food during the day, as breakfast, lunch, or supper.
one of these regular occasions or times for eating food.
a coarse, unsifted powder ground from the edible seeds of any grain:
wheat meal; cornmeal.
any ground or powdery substance, as of nuts or seeds, resembling this.
the food served and eaten
(informal) make a meal of, to perform (a task) with unnecessarily great effort
the edible part of a grain or pulse (excluding wheat) ground to a coarse powder, used chiefly as animal food
(mainly US) maize flour
“food; time for eating,” c.1200 (perhaps late Old English), mel “appointed time for eating,” also “a meal, feast,” from Old English mæl “fixed time, occasion, a meal,” from Proto-Germanic *mæla- (cf. Old Frisian mel “time;” Middle Dutch mael, Dutch maal “time, meal;” Old Norse mal “measure, time, meal;” German Mal “time,” Mahl “meal;” Gothic mel “time, hour”), from PIE *me-lo-, from root *me- “to measure” (see meter (n.2)). Original sense of “time” is preserved in piecemeal. Meals-on-wheels attested from 1961. Meal ticket first attested 1870 in literal sense of “ticket of admission to a dining hall;” figurative sense of “source of income or livelihood” is from 1899.
“edible ground grain,” Old English melu “meal, flour,” from West Germanic *melwan “grind” (cf. Old Frisian mele “meal,” Old Saxon melo, Middle Dutch mele, Dutch meel, Old High German melo, German Mehl, Old Norse mjöl “meal;” Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic malan “to grind,” German mahlen), from PIE root *mele- “to grind” (see mallet).
meal 1 (mēl)
are at the present day “eaten from a round table little higher than a stool, guests sitting cross-legged on mats or small carpets in a circle, and dipping their fingers into one large dish heaped with a mixture of boiled rice and other grain and meat. But in the time of our Lord, and perhaps even from the days of Amos (6:4, 7), the foreign custom had been largely introduced of having broad couches, forming three sides of a small square, the guests reclining at ease on their elbows during meals, with their faces to the space within, up and down which servants passed offering various dishes, or in the absence of servants, helping themselves from dishes laid on a table set between the couches.” Geikie’s Life of Christ. (Comp. Luke 7:36-50.) (See ABRAHAM’S BOSOM ØT0000055; BANQUET ØT0000434; FEAST.)
In addition to the idiom beginning with meal ; also see square meal
noun, (sometimes initial capital letter) 1. a program, usually one supported or subsidized by a charitable, social, or government agency, for delivering hot meals regularly to elderly, disabled, or convalescing persons who are housebound and cannot cook for themselves. noun 1. (functioning as sing) (social welfare, Brit) a service, usually subsidized, and run by a […]
noun 1. a ticket that entitles the bearer to meals in a specified restaurant, especially when meals purchased in this manner are offered at reduced rates. 2. Informal. someone upon whom one is dependent for one’s income or livelihood: selfish children who look upon their father only as a meal ticket. 3. Informal. something, as […]
[meel-tahym] /ˈmilˌtaɪm/ noun 1. the usual time for a meal. n. also meal-time, late 12c., from meal (n.1) + time (n.). Etymologically, a tautology.
[meel-wurm] /ˈmilˌwɜrm/ noun 1. the larva of any of several darkling beetles of the genus Tenebrio, which infests granaries and is used as food for birds and animals. /ˈmiːlˌwɜːm/ noun 1. the larva of various beetles of the genus Tenebrio, esp T. molitor, feeding on meal, flour, and similar stored foods: family Tenebrionidae