Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

meal - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun     meal pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable] an occasion when you eat, especially breakfast, lunch, or dinner

    The medicine should always be taken with meals.

    What do you call your evening meal?

    go out for a meal (=go to a restaurant):

    We could see a film or go out for a meal.

    main meal (=the meal at which you eat the most food):

    Dinner is usually our main meal, except on Sundays.

    I’m not hungry, I had a big meal at lunchtime.

    1. a.
      the food that you serve or eat at one time

      an Indian meal

      cook/prepare/make a meal:

      He cooked us a delicious meal.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] crushed grain, used as food for people or animals


to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play