meat and potatoes

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noun(used with a singular or plural verb)Informal.
  1. 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

Words Nearby meat and potatoes

Other definitions for meat-and-potatoes (2 of 2)


or meat-and-po·ta·to

[ meet-n-puh-tey-tohz, -tuhz ]

  1. 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use meat and potatoes in a sentence

Other 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.