meat-and-potatoes

or meat-and-po·ta·to

[ meet-n-puh-tey-tohz, -tuh z ]
/ ˈmit n pəˈteɪ toʊz, -təz /

adjective Informal.

fundamental; down-to-earth; basic: What are the meat-and-potatoes issues of the election?

Origin of meat-and-potatoes

First recorded in 1945–50

Definition for meat-and-potatoes (2 of 2)

meat and potatoes


noun (used with a singular or plural verb) Informal.

the essential or basic part: Community service is the meat and potatoes of this program.

Origin of meat and potatoes

probably earlier than 1950–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Idioms and Phrases with meat-and-potatoes

meat and potatoes


The fundamental part or parts of something, as in This paragraph is the meat and potatoes of the contract. This metaphoric term transfers what some regard as basic fare to the basics of an issue. [Mid-1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.