- the food served and eaten especially at one of the customary, regular occasions for taking food during the day, as breakfast, lunch, or supper.
- one of these regular occasions or times for eating food.
Origin of meal1
- a coarse, unsifted powder ground from the edible seeds of any grain: wheat meal; cornmeal.
- any ground or powdery substance, as of nuts or seeds, resembling this.
Origin of meal2
Examples from the Web for meals
“They know how to take supplements, they know how to portion out their meals,” Smith said.College Football Fattens Players Up and Then Abandons Them
October 4, 2014
Families were sitting picnic-style, meals of lamb and rice on large plates, scooped up with the flat bread nan.Fighting Back With Faith: Inside the Yezidis’ Iraqi Temple
August 21, 2014
Drinking is, for many people, an enjoyable part of social gatherings and a complement to meals.Excessive Drinking Kills 1 in 10 Americans
June 26, 2014
Meals like this were sold as ‘set-ups’; for a pack of cigarettes you got a full meal plus a cold soda.
After no one bought his meals, he mostly consumed the seagulls himself, but offered some to anyone willing to try.
Here he cooked and ate his meals, and here he spent his solitary evenings.Brave and Bold
If it will make you feel more independent, you may pay for your meals.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
If you miss any meals, your ticket is good until it is punched.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
You feel sleepy after your meals, and willingly enjoy a nap?The Imaginary Invalid
But when they sat at meals, loosening their armor buckles, then there would be news.The Trail Book
- any of the regular occasions, such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc, when food is served and eaten
- (in combination)mealtime Related adjective: prandial
- the food served and eaten
- make a meal of informal to perform (a task) with unnecessarily great effort
- the edible part of a grain or pulse (excluding wheat) ground to a coarse powder, used chiefly as animal food
- Scot oatmeal
- mainly US maize flour
Word Origin and History for meals
"food; time for eating," c.1200 (perhaps late Old English), mel "appointed time for eating," also "a meal, feast," from Old English mæl "fixed time, occasion, a meal," from Proto-Germanic *mæla- (cf. Old Frisian mel "time;" Middle Dutch mael, Dutch maal "time, meal;" Old Norse mal "measure, time, meal;" German Mal "time," Mahl "meal;" Gothic mel "time, hour"), from PIE *me-lo-, from root *me- "to measure" (see meter (n.2)). Original sense of "time" is preserved in piecemeal. Meals-on-wheels attested from 1961. Meal ticket first attested 1870 in literal sense of "ticket of admission to a dining hall;" figurative sense of "source of income or livelihood" is from 1899.
"edible ground grain," Old English melu "meal, flour," from West Germanic *melwan "grind" (cf. Old Frisian mele "meal," Old Saxon melo, Middle Dutch mele, Dutch meel, Old High German melo, German Mehl, Old Norse mjöl "meal;" Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic malan "to grind," German mahlen), from PIE root *mele- "to grind" (see mallet).
Idioms and Phrases with meals
In addition to the idiom beginning with meal
- meal ticket
; also see
- square meal