Main definitions of meal in English

: meal1meal2

meal1

noun

  • 1Any of the regular occasions in a day when a reasonably large amount of food is eaten.

    ‘the evening meal’
    • ‘Already they knew the food for the evening meal was ready.’
    • ‘You can try adding the medicine to a small amount of food and giving it to your cat before her regular meal.’
    • ‘They had gotten used to fairly regular meals since moving here, and he wanted to keep it that way.’
    • ‘This includes an evening meal and breakfast on both mornings.’
    • ‘After the evening meal, he and his friends turned over their food bowls to make drums.’
    • ‘Most of the guards she saw were simply sitting around socializing over their evening meals.’
    • ‘She spent most of her time in there, only leaving for the afternoon and evening meals.’
    • ‘Here he can enjoy a swim, before continuing to an island restaurant for a buffet meal and leisure time after lunch.’
    • ‘She had helped to serve the family at meals and would occasionally catch him studying her.’
    • ‘It's nearly time for our evening meal, and I can see that you were on your way to your rooms to freshen up.’
    • ‘She went straight to the evening meal afterwards, and sat next to Carden without saying a word, simply because she felt like being difficult.’
    • ‘She would have liked tea very much, but it wasn't important; there would be plenty of tea at the evening meal, several hours from then.’
    • ‘When they reached the center, it was time for most workers to go home and so the place was teeming with people rushing home for their evening meal.’
    • ‘It was an hour past the evening meal by the time they reached another town (they had passed two others earlier that day) and had found an inn to stay at for the night.’
    • ‘Her mother had mentioned earlier that her family would be joined by a few guests in her parents' apartments for the evening meal.’
    • ‘We spoke nothing more of the matter for the duration of the meal, occasionally making random comments to one another.’
    • ‘It was not really polite for us girls, especially me, to initiate a conversation during our evening meal.’
    • ‘She presented the garments to everyone at their evening meal, and everyone gratefully thanked her.’
    • ‘During the evening meal at his family dwelling, Jonas hesitatingly asks his parents if they love him.’
    • ‘After the evening meal, the crowd slowly migrated back towards the Grand Hall.’
    repast, snack
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The food eaten during a meal.
      ‘a bar serving light meals’
      • ‘Here, cooks will prepare a light meal of mixed salad, tinned cold fish or meat, bread and cheese and fruit.’
      • ‘This includes the lecture, wine and a light meal of French bread, salami and cheese.’
      • ‘My mom would enjoy cooking those favourite healthy meals of hers in it.’
      • ‘The weary traveller can relax here on a shady terrace with a light meal and refreshments.’
      • ‘He had fixed a fine meal of beef, potatoes, carrots and onions, and the men were lining up eagerly, plates in one hand and coffee mugs in the other.’
      • ‘He had cooked a meal of barbecued chicken and boiled potatoes with butter.’
      • ‘He was more inclined to cook his own meal than order one from some fast food place.’
      • ‘As usual, the meal was cooked to perfection but I didn't feel hungry.’
      • ‘So he and Teresa invited Jelly to join them and sat down to a meal of beef stew and fresh bread.’
      • ‘She walked into a small bar and ordered a light meal.’
      • ‘Lisa, their cook, made fabulous meals, but nothing compared to the cakes her mother made.’
      • ‘While cooking the meal of grilled chicken, rice, rolls, and peas, the doorbell rang.’
      • ‘I have never washed a dish, cleaned a floor nor cooked a meal.’
      • ‘Dan nodded, pleasantly, and tucked into his meal of potatoes, roast beef, and vegetables.’
      • ‘They stopped at noon for a small meal of bread and cheese.’
      • ‘Once there, she inhaled a small meal of bread and cheese before rushing off to begin work.’
      • ‘Then quickly she went back to cleaning up the mess while the meal cooked.’
      • ‘He picked up his regular meal, toast, wheat-cereal with milk and made his way to a table to eat.’
      • ‘Causey ate a large meal that evening, the best meal he'd eaten in nearly two years.’
      • ‘With winter pretty much here, it's a great meal to have for lunch, dinner, or both.’
      repast, snack
      View synonyms

Phrases

    make a meal of
    British informal
    • Carry out (a task or action) with unnecessary effort or thoroughness, especially for effect.

      ‘he made a meal of it by falling dramatically to the ground clutching his face’
      • ‘Harris avoids making a meal of any of this, and for the most part avoids those ‘gosh we're in the presence of genius' moments.’
      • ‘Michael Campbell, meanwhile, makes a meal of his birdie putt on the ninth, and is suddenly facing a tricky five-footer to stay at five under.’
      • ‘The media makes a meal of this sort of thing, ourselves included I guess, precisely because it's so unusual.’
      • ‘‘If the last one was four years ago, I should think the Colonel feels entitled to make a meal of this one,’ said Haig.’
      • ‘Scorsese and scriptwriter John Logan have decided to make a meal of the illness that eventually forced him in later life to become a recluse.’
      • ‘A lot of actors would make a meal of this, but Brucie just sleepwalks through the whole thing.’
      • ‘The camera makes a meal of the moment, slowly panning round its landscaped perfection, taking in the fountains, the pools, the impeccable box hedging, the paving stones set in the manicured lawn.’
      • ‘If you make a meal of your adventure, your spirit is revived.’
      • ‘Even though the queens got hosed off pretty early in this game, the players still managed to make a meal of it.’
      • ‘He even made a meal of appearing right in front of her and overcrowding her so she couldn't step around him at all.’
    meals on wheels
    • Meals delivered to old people or invalids who cannot cook for themselves.

      ‘They asked if I wanted someone to come, and have meals on wheels, but I'm not old.’
      ‘Now Tiger, I only have three hours until the nice woman from meals on wheels arrives.’

Origin

Old English mǣl (also in the sense ‘measure’, surviving in words such as piecemeal ‘measure taken at one time’), of Germanic origin. The early sense of meal involved a notion of ‘fixed time’; compare with Dutch maal ‘meal, (portion of) time’ and German Mal ‘time’, Mahl ‘meal’, from an Indo-European root meaning ‘to measure’.

Pronunciation

meal

/miːl/

Main definitions of meal in English

: meal1meal2

meal2

noun

mass noun
  • 1The edible part of any grain or pulse ground to powder.

    ‘she called to Judith to bring some meal for the hens’
    • ‘The examples compare corn silage to alfalfa hay, ‘normal’ silage, and corn grain plus soybean meal.’
    • ‘A conventional soybean expeller saw an opportunity, became certified and started producing organic soybean meal and soy oil.’
    • ‘Frequently, ground limestone is added to processed soybean meal to improve its flowability.’
    • ‘The processors were concerned that between 3,500 and 4,000 tonnes of Zimbabwean soya bean meal was destined for Zambia.’
    • ‘At a board retreat, he suggested adding a soybean extruder to make soy meal and oil.’
    • ‘Kids preferred supplements based on either corn or soybean meal over those based on fishmeal or molasses.’
    • ‘The only problem is, South American soybean meal tends to have less protein, so the African farmer often has to purchase feed additives.’
    • ‘In contrast, if soybean meal is used as the sole supplemental protein source, there will be no benefit to added valine.’
    • ‘While U.S. soybean meal exports to Mexico have been smaller than soybean exports, trade in soybean meal has started to grow very rapidly.’
    • ‘The diet was primarily finely rolled milo, with sorghum silage, soybean meal, urea, and ammonium sulfate.’
    • ‘It's a key producer of lysine, a feed additive derived from amino acids that is mixed with corn and soybean meal to fatten up livestock.’
    • ‘That dedication allows AGP to be a low-cost supplier to industry users of soybean oil and meal.’
    • ‘Their diet consists of corn and soybean meal, water, vitamins and minerals.’
    • ‘The researchers traced the dioxin to chicken feed, specifically soybean meal.’
    • ‘These are the only processing agents that are in contact with the soybean oil and meal.’
    • ‘His vision was to find ways to use soybean oil and meal in parts for his automobiles.’
    • ‘Soybean meal, milk protein and alfalfa are feed ingredients high in lysine.’
    • ‘Burcon developed a process to extract and purify valuable proteins from canola meal.’
    • ‘You remove the tannin by leaching it out of the ground-up acorn meal but are left with a fairly tasteless mush for making pancakes or the like.’
    • ‘Treatment cows received diets similar to the control diet except the DF replaced all of the soybean meal and corn.’
    1. 1.1Scottish Oatmeal.
    2. 1.2US Maize flour.
      • ‘Namibia's leading miller, Namib Mills, said on Wednesday it will reduce the prices of the staple food, maize meal and wheat flour products.’
      • ‘‘Even if the maize meal is available locally, the problem is that the price is too expensive,’ said Meygag.’
      • ‘Although both soft and hard maize can be used for the manufacture of this meal, soft maize is prevalent in the region as it is grown more widely and is therefore more affordable.’
      • ‘Unsifted maize meal will be reduced by more than 30%, depending on the size of packaging.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the price of maize and maize meal have gradually started to rise as was expected at this time of the year in both urban and rural centers.’
      • ‘The Namibian Agronomic Board this week resisted pressure to issue import permits for maize meal from South Africa.’
      • ‘The price for maize meal is expected to go up again on 11 March this year.’
      • ‘He said the Congolese were especially in need of foodstuffs such as maize meal, maize, goats and chickens.’
      • ‘He said price reductions were recorded for maize meal, fresh meat and vegetables, while other food items registered relatively stable prices.’
      • ‘Others were blankets and toweling, beef, maize meal, protein foods, milk and roasted coffee.’
    3. 1.3Any powdery substance made by grinding.
      ‘herring meal’
      • ‘In July 1988, Britain banned the feeding of cattle with meal containing the ground-up remains of cows, in order to halt the spread of BSE.’

Origin

Old English melu, meolo, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch meel and German Mehl, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin molere ‘to grind’.

Pronunciation

meal

/miːl/