synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of meat in English

English Online Dictionary. What means meat‎? What does meat mean?



From Middle English mete, from Old English mete (food), from Proto-West Germanic *mati, from Proto-Germanic *matiz (food), from Proto-Indo-European *meh₂d- (to drip, ooze; grease, fat). Cognate with West Frisian mete, Old Saxon meti, Old High German maz (food), Icelandic matur, Swedish mat, Gothic 𐌼𐌰𐍄𐍃 (mats).

A -ja- derivation from the same base is found in Middle Dutch and Middle Low German met (lean pork), from which Dutch met (minced pork) and German Mett (minced meat) derive, respectively. Compare also Old Irish mess (animal feed) and Welsh mes (acorns), English mast (fodder for swine and other animals), which are probably from the same root.


  • enPR: mēt, IPA(key): /miːt/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /mit/
  • Rhymes: -iːt
  • Homophones: meet, mete


meat (countable and uncountable, plural meats)

  1. (uncountable) The flesh (muscle tissue) of an animal used as food. [from 14th c.]
  2. (countable) A type of meat, by anatomic position and provenance. [from 16th c.]
  3. (now archaic, dialectal) Food, for animals or humans, especially solid food. See also meat and drink. [from 8th c.]
  4. (now rare) A type of food, a dish. [from 9th c.]
  5. (archaic) A meal. [from 9th c.]
  6. (obsolete) Meal; flour.
  7. (uncountable) Any relatively thick, solid part of a fruit, nut etc. [from 15th c.]
  8. (slang) A penis. [from 16th c.]
  9. (colloquial) The best or most substantial part of something. [from 16th c.]
  10. (sports) The sweet spot of a bat or club (in cricket, golf, baseball etc.). [from 20th c.]
  11. (slang) A meathead.
  12. (Australian Aboriginal) A totem, or (by metonymy) a clan or clansman which uses it.
    • 1993, J. Janson, Gunjies
      That’s a beautiful goanna. []. He’s my meat, can’t eat him.

Usage notes

  • The meaning "flesh of an animal used as food" is often understood to exclude fish and other seafood. For example, the rules for abstaining from meat in the Roman Catholic Church do not extend to fish; likewise, the separation of meat from dairy under Jewish dietary laws does not extend to fish. Similarly, when “meat” is being used in the context of the culinary arts or nutrition science, seafood is classified as a separate food category. This could be why some people who self-identify as vegetarians also eat fish (although the precise term for such a person is pescetarian). Traditionally, this sense of the word meat sometimes even excluded poultry, but this aspect has become outdated. For related facts about this sense differentiation and the general case of the ontologic flexibility of natural language, see nonfish § Usage notes.


  • (animal flesh used as food): flesh; See also Thesaurus:meat
  • (penis): see Thesaurus:penis
  • (best or most substantial part of something): crux, gist; See also Thesaurus:gist


  • drink

Derived terms


  • Sranan Tongo: meti



  • AEMT, ATEM, Atem, META, Meta, Tame, Team, Tema, mate, maté, meta, meta-, tame, team




  1. third-person singular present active indicative of meō



Borrowed from French méat, from Latin meatus.


meat n (plural meaturi)

  1. meatus


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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.