1 [countable]DFan 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)
British Englishinformalto 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, teaBritish English, dinner, supper a meal outside:picnic, barbecuealsobarbieinformal, cookoutAmerican 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:starterBritish English, appetizerAmerican English (the first course) main course/entreeespecially AmE, side dish (eaten with the main course) dessertalsopuddingsweetBritish English (sweet food eaten at the end of the meal)
Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Advanced Learner's Dictionary.