Language: Old English
Origin: etan


eat S1 W1 past tense ate past participle eaten


[intransitive and transitive] to put food in your mouth and chew and swallow itCOLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
eat well/healthily/sensibly (=eat food that will keep you healthy) eat right American English (=eat food that will keep you healthy) eat properly British English (=eat food that will keep you healthy) eat hungrily something to eat (=some food) eat like a horse informal (=eat a very large amount) eat like a bird informal (=eat very little) a bite to eat informal (=some food) eating habits eating disorder (=a medical condition in which you do not eat normally) ready-to-eat (=used to describe foods that you do not have to prepare) I couldn't eat another thing/bite spoken (=used to say that you are full)
Felix chatted cheerfully as he ate.
A small girl was eating an ice cream.
We had plenty to eat and drink.
It's important to eat healthily when you are pregnant.
I exercise and eat right and get plenty of sleep.
Would you like something to eat?
She can eat like a horse and never put on weight.
We stopped at McDonalds to get a bite to eat.
Good eating habits are the best way of preventing infection.
ready-to-eat foods such as deli meats and cheeses
'More cake?' 'No thanks, I couldn't eat another thing.'
No chicken for me. I don't eat meat (=I never eat meat).
Does Rob eat fish?


[intransitive and transitive]DFDL to have a meal:
Let's eat first and then go to a movie.
They're eating breakfast.
eat at
We could not afford to eat at Walker's very often.

eat your words

to admit that what you said was wrong:
I'm going to make you eat your words.

eat your heart out

a) used to say, especially humorously, that something is very good:
That's a great drawing. Pablo Picasso eat your heart out!
b) British English to be unhappy about something or to want someone or something very much:
If you had any sense you'd forget him, but eat your heart out if you want to.

eat somebody alive/eat somebody for breakfast

to be very angry with someone or to defeat them completely:
You can't tell him that - he'll eat you alive!


[transitive] to use a very large amount of something:
This car eats petrol.

eat humble pie

also eat crow American English to admit that you were wrong and say that you are sorry

I'll eat my hat

used to emphasize that you think something is not true or will not happen:
If the Democrats win the election, I'll eat my hat!

have somebody eating out of your hand

to have made someone very willing to believe you or do what you want:
He soon had the client eating out of his hand.

eat somebody out of house and home

to eat a lot of someone's supply of food, so that they have to buy more - used humorously

what's eating somebody?

spoken used to ask why someone seems annoyed or upset:
What's eating Sally today?

I could eat a horse

spoken used to say you are very hungry

I/we won't eat you

spoken used to tell someone that you are not angry with them and they need not be frightened

you are what you eat

used to say that you will be healthy if the food you eat is healthy

➔ have your cake and eat it

at cake1 (6)

eat something ↔ away

phrasal verb
to gradually remove or destroy something [= erode]:
The stones are being eaten away by pollution.

eat away at something/somebody

phrasal verb
1 to gradually remove or reduce the amount of something:
His gambling was eating away at their income.
2 to make someone feel very worried over a long period of time:
The thought of mother alone like that was eating away at her.

eat in

phrasal verb
to eat at home instead of in a restaurant

eat into something

phrasal verb
1 to gradually reduce the amount of time, money etc that is available:
John's university fees have been eating into our savings.
2 to gradually damage or destroy something:
Acid eats into the metal, damaging its surface.

eat out

phrasal verb
to eat in a restaurant instead of at home:
Do you eat out a lot?

eat up

phrasal verb
1 to eat all of something:
Come on, eat up, there's a good girl.
eat something ↔ up
She's made a cake and wants us to help eat it up.

eat something ↔ up

informal to use a lot of something, especially until there is none left:
Big cars just eat up money.

be eaten up with/by jealousy/anger/curiosity etc

to be very jealous, angry etc, so that you cannot think about anything else

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