eat - definition and synonyms

verb [intransitive/transitive] 

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present tense
present participleeating
past tenseate
past participleeaten
  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