to take into the mouth and swallow for nourishment; chew and swallow (food).
to consume by or as if by devouring gradually; wear away; corrode: The patient was eaten by disease and pain.
to make (a hole, passage, etc.), as by gnawing or corrosion.
to ravage or devastate: a forest eaten by fire.
to use up, especially wastefully; consume (often followed by up): Unexpected expenses have been eating up their savings.
to absorb or pay for: The builder had to eat the cost of the repairs.
Slang: Vulgar. to perform cunnilingus or fellatio on.
to consume food; take a meal: We'll eat at six o'clock.
to make a way, as by gnawing or corrosion: Acid ate through the linoleum.
eats, Informal. food.
eat away / into to destroy gradually, as by erosion: For eons, the pounding waves ate away at the shoreline.
eat out, to have a meal at a restaurant rather than at home.
to consume wholly.
to show enthusiasm for; take pleasure in: The audience ate up everything he said.
to believe without question.
Idioms about eat
be eating someone, Informal. to worry, annoy, or bother: Something seems to be eating him—he's been wearing a frown all day.
eat clean. clean (def. 50).
eat crow. crow1 (def. 7).
eat high off the hog. hog (def. 16).
eat humble pie. humble pie (def. 3).
eat in, to eat or dine at home.
eat one's heart out. heart (def. 26).
eat one's terms. term (def. 17).
eat one's words. word (def. 17).
eat out of one's hand. hand (def. 50).
eat someone out of house and home, to eat so much as to strain someone's resources of food or money: A group of hungry teenagers can eat you out of house and home.
eat someone's lunch, Slang. to thoroughly defeat, outdo, injure, etc.
eat the wind out of, Nautical. to blanket (a sailing vessel sailing close-hauled) by sailing close on the weather side of.
- eater, noun
- outeat, verb (used with object), out·ate, out·eat·en, out·eat·ing.
- un·der·eat, verb (used without object), un·der·ate, un·der·eat·en, un·der·eat·ing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use eat in a sentence
As part of the update, users will now be able to see the ratings of nearby restaurants, which locales they’ve ordered from, and top eats—all of which will be marked with icons—on a map.Uber Eats wants to deliver flowers and pet supplies, too | Danielle Abril | October 7, 2020 | Fortune
But two things are clear in this tail-eater of a case: First, there seems to be plenty of guilt but hardly a criminal in sight.Wrongly Imprisoned for 15 Years Thanks to an Innocence Project | Jacob Siegel | November 13, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
When it comes to food, are you an adventurous, nose-to-tail kind of eater?
It is messy enough to be fork-food for all but the most dexterous eater.
The Daily Beast found out with the help of nationally ranked competitive eater Eric ‘Badlands’ Booker.Video: We Took a Competitive Eater to TGI Fridays for Endless Appetizers—and They Ran Out | Brandy Zadrozny | July 17, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The books on that list are reliably brilliant, and The Pumpkin Eater is no exception.The Neglected Penelope Mortimer Was a Novelist Ahead of Her Time | Jessica Ferri | March 25, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
In the old days every great man kept a toad-eater; sometimes his functions were highly paid—Wolff's are, I fancy.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3) | Charles James Wills
We here saw an opium-eater, lying stretched out upon a mat on the floor.A Woman's Journey Round the World | Ida Pfeiffer
The little insect-eater chittered in alarm and dashed off to safety across the highway.Insidekick | Jesse Franklin Bone
Our friend Robert the Eater was one of the communiers sent to Paris three years ago to secure our charter.The Pilgrim's Shell or Fergan the Quarryman | Eugne Sue
He was far from a great eater, and I never noticed him drink anything at dinner but claret, which is not an intoxicating beverage.Reminiscences of Charles Bradlaugh | George W. Foote
British Dictionary definitions for eat (1 of 2)
to take into the mouth and swallow (food, etc), esp after biting and chewing
(tr; often foll by away or up) to destroy as if by eating: the damp had eaten away the woodwork
(often foll by into) to use up or waste: taxes ate into his inheritance
(often foll by into or through) to make (a hole, passage, etc) by eating or gnawing: rats ate through the floor
to take or have (a meal or meals): we always eat at six
(tr) to include as part of one's diet: he doesn't eat fish
(tr) informal to cause to worry; make anxious: what's eating you?
(tr) slang to perform cunnilingus or fellatio upon
I'll eat my hat if informal I will be greatly surprised if (something happens that proves me wrong)
eat one's heart out to brood or pine with grief or longing
eat one's words to take back something said; recant; retract
eat out of someone's hand to be entirely obedient to someone
eat someone out of house and home to ruin someone, esp one's parent or one's host, by consuming all his food
- eater, noun
British Dictionary definitions for EAT (2 of 2)
Tanzania (international car registration)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Other Idioms and Phrases with eat
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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.