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
“Entitlements are eating up the entire budget,” says Kessler.Voters Become More Realistic Than Political Parties About Fiscal Cliff | Eleanor Clift | November 22, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
What they all have in common is the ritual of eating up rich foods before the 46 days of abstinence leading up to Easter Sunday.
There are none of the eyes that look as if they were eating up one's words before they come, and that smile of comprehension!The Daisy Chain | Charlotte Yonge
Henri, hearing a singular noise, turned round, and saw Chicot eating up all the supper that had been brought for two.Chicot the Jester | Alexandre Dumas, Pere
Her mother sat at a sewing-machine intent upon some work, the needle eating up a spreading piece of cloth.You Never Know Your Luck, Complete | Gilbert Parker
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.