verb (used with object), ate [eyt; especially British et] /eɪt; especially British ɛt/ or (Archaic) eat [et, eet] /ɛt, it/; eat·en or (Archaic) eat [et, eet] /ɛt, it/; eat·ing.
verb (used without object), ate [eyt; especially British et] /eɪt; especially British ɛt/ or (Archaic) eat [et, eet] /ɛt, it/; eat·en or (Archaic) eat [et, eet] /ɛt, it/; eat·ing.
- to consume wholly.
- to show enthusiasm for; take pleasure in: The audience ate up everything he said.
- to believe without question.
Origin of eat
verb (adverb, mainly tr)
Word Origin for EAT
verb eats, eating, ate or eaten
Word Origin for eat
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.
Consume completely, as in No television until you eat up your dinner, or This quarter's expenses have eaten up all my spare cash. The literal use (first example) dates from the early 1500s, the figurative from the early 1600s.
Enjoy avidly, as in She simply eats up the publicity. [Late 1800s]
Believe unquestioningly, be gullible, as in He'll eat up whatever the broker tells him. [Slang; early 1900s]
Defeat completely, as in This new fighter just eats up every opponent. [Slang; c. 1830]
See eat out, def. 2.
In addition to the idioms beginning with eat
- eat and run
- eat away at
- eat crow
- eat high off the hog
- eat in
- eat like a bird
- eat one's cake and have it, too
- eat one's hat
- eat one's heart out
- eat one's words
- eat out
- eat out of someone's hand
- eat shit
- eat someone alive
- eat someone out
- eat someone out of house and home
- eat someone's ass out
- eat someone's lunch
- eat someone up
- eat up
- dog eat dog
- proof of the pudding is in the eating
- what's eating you