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eat - definition and synonyms


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verb [intransitive/transitive] eat pronunciation in British English /iːt/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleeating
past tenseate
past participleeaten
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  1. to put food into your mouth and swallow it

    We sat on the grass and ate our sandwiches.

    Don’t talk while you’re eating.

    I’ve eaten too much.

    Finish your lunch – you’ve hardly eaten anything.

    1. a.
      to eat a particular type or amount of food

      Do you eat meat/fish/eggs?

      I find it difficult to persuade my family to eat a healthy diet.

      eat properly/healthily/sensibly (=eat food that is good for you):

      Many people who live alone don’t eat properly.

      eating habits/patterns (=what someone eats, and when they eat):

      It will take time to change your children’s eating habits.

      eat well (=have a lot of good food):

      We always ate well at Aunt Milly’s.

    2. b.
      to have a meal

      We don’t eat breakfast together, except at the weekends.

      Beth ate her evening meal in the hotel.

      What time shall we eat?

      eat at:

      We ate at a small Chinese restaurant several streets away.

      something to eat (=food):

      Where can we get something to eat?

      a bite to eat (=a quick meal):

      Do you want to grab a bite to eat before we go?

See also

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in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

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