- 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
- 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 and History for out to 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."
Idioms and Phrases with out to lunch
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).