- to eat lunch: We lunched quite late today.
- to provide lunch for: They lunched us in regal fashion.
- out to lunch, Slang. not paying attention or tending to business; negligent: You must have been out to lunch when you wrote that weird report.
Origin of lunch
Related Words for out to lunchbored, distracted, careless, distraught, oblivious, indifferent, apathetic, inefficient, incapable, inadequate, inept, unskilled, ineffectual, useless, unqualified, helpless, amateurish, inexperienced, screwball, wacky
- a meal eaten during the middle of the day
- Caribbean (among older people) mid-afternoon tea
- (intr) to eat lunch
- (tr) to provide or buy lunch for
Word Origin for lunch
"mid-day repast," 1786, shortened form of luncheon (q.v.). The verb meaning "to take to lunch" (said to be from the noun) also is attested from 1786:
PRATTLE. I always to be ſure, makes a point to keep up the dignity of the family I lives in. Wou'd you take a more ſolid refreſhment?--Have you lunch'd, Mr. Bribe?
BRIBE. Lunch'd O dear! Permit me, my dear Mrs. Prattle, to refreſh my sponge, upon the honey dew that clings to your raviſhing pouters. O! Mrs. Prattle, this ſhall be my lunch. (kiſſes)
["The Mode," in William Davies' "Plays Written for a Private Theatre," London, 1786]
But as late as 1817 the only definition of lunch in Webster's is "a large piece of food." OED says in 1820s the word "was regarded either as a vulgarism, or as a fashionable affectation." Related: Lunched; lunching. Lunch money is attested from 1868; lunch-time (n.) is from 1821; lunch hour is from 1840. Slang phrase out to lunch "insane, stupid, clueless" first recorded 1955, on notion of being "not there." Old English had nonmete "afternoon meal," literally "noon-meat."
out to lunch
Not in touch with the real world, crazy; also, inattentive. For example, If he believes that story, he's really out to lunch, or Anne hasn't heard a word you said—she's out to lunch. This expression transfers a temporary physical absence for the purpose of eating to a temporary or permanent mental absence. [Slang; mid-1900s]
see eat someone alive (someone's lunch); free lunch; lose one's lunch; out to (lunch).