Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: FOOD

Sense: 1,3
Origin: Old English mæl 'time, meal'
Sense: 2
Origin: Old English melu

meal

noun
     
meal S2 W2
1 [countable]DF an occasion when you eat food, for example breakfast or dinner, or the food that you eat on that occasionCOLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
go (out) for a meal ask somebody out for a meal take somebody (out) for a meal have/eat a meal cook/prepare/make a meal enjoy your meal! (=I hope you like your food) evening/midday meal the main meal of the day a three/five-course meal a decent/proper meal a hot meal a full meal (=a complete meal) a square meal (=a meal with enough good food to keep you healthy)
After the movie we went for a meal in a Chinese restaurant.
Why don't you ask him out for a meal?
He was always taking her out for meals in fancy restaurants.
We must have a meal together some time.
Mavis ate her meal in silence.
My mom was helping me prepare the meal.
The price includes accommodation, breakfast, and evening meals.
Dinner is the main meal of the day for most people.
a five-course meal in an expensive French restaurant
All I need is a bath, a decent meal, and a good long sleep.
The soldiers were looking forward to a hot meal.
The cinnamon roll has as many calories as a full meal.
You need to have three square meals a day.
! Do not say 'take a meal'. Say have a meal.
2 [uncountable]DFTA grain that has been crushed into a powder, for making flour or animal food bonemeal
3

make a meal (out) of something

British English informal to spend too much time or effort doing something:
He made a real meal out of parking the car.
WORD FOCUS: meal WORD FOCUS: meal
meals at different times of day: breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea British English, dinner, supper

a meal outside: picnic, barbecue also barbie informal, cookout American English

when you quickly eat a little food : snack, a bite to eat

a very big meal for a lot of people: banquet, feast

parts of a meal: starter British English, appetizer American English (the first course)
main course
/entree especially AmE, side dish (eaten with the main course)
dessert
also pudding sweet British English (sweet food eaten at the end of the meal)
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