Definition of fat in English:

fat

noun

  • 1[mass noun] A natural oily substance occurring in animal bodies, especially when deposited as a layer under the skin or around certain organs:

    ‘whales and seals insulate themselves with layers of fat’
    • ‘This outer layer of body fat provides insulation from low temperatures.’
    • ‘Sauté the bacon in a large frying pan until browned and the fat starts to run.’
    • ‘Your body has learned to use it sparingly as it relies heavily on fat for fuel.’
    • ‘To lose body fat, you should eat fewer calories and increase your exercise.’
    • ‘The changes are expected to enable the method to provide accurate readings that are unaffected by skin color or body fat.’
    • ‘At the same time, it stalls the metabolic processes that burn fat for fuel.’
    • ‘Insulin resistance correlates with visceral fat measured by waist circumference or waist to hip ratio.’
    • ‘And she praised the television advert with fat dripping from a cigarette end as a group of friends smoke in a pub.’
    • ‘Hydroxycut can also help you burn stored fat for energy while sparing your precious muscle.’
    • ‘Bacon without all the fat, rind, and, er, flavour.’
    • ‘Jan remembers eating bacon fat as a savoury spread instead of butter on bread.’
    • ‘With a very sharp knife, score the fat of the lamb, creating a crisscross pattern.’
    • ‘Trim the fat from meat and poultry, says Potter, because pesticides and other additives concentrate there.’
    • ‘Not much hair, we don't hibernate, and only in the age of super-sizing have we learned to put on a truly impressive layer of body fat.’
    • ‘Just beneath the surface of the skin is a thin layer of subcutaneous fat.’
    • ‘One simple rule is to trim all excess fat from meat.’
    • ‘Fry over a medium heat until the fat runs and the bacon turns golden at the edges.’
    • ‘By late adolescence, girls have twice the body fat of boys, and boys have one-third greater muscle mass than girls.’
    • ‘When I went from a girl's body to a woman's body with natural fat in places, I freaked out.’
    • ‘But a friend said I would burn more fat by doing strength training before cardio.’
    fatty tissue, fat cells, blubber, adipose tissue
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    1. 1.1 A fatty substance made from animal or plant products, used in cooking:
      ‘sizzling fat’
      [count noun] ‘a diet high in animal fats’
      • ‘I took no sugar, no butter and no other cooking fat of any sort because to get these rare commodities I would have had to ask Stewart to give me some.’
      • ‘He placed the meat in the bottom of the pot along with a little bit of cooking fat.’
      • ‘According to respected gerontologist Kazuhiko Taira, the most common cooking fat used traditionally in Okinawa is lard.’
      • ‘Instead, I just soaked fruits directly in liquors, without adding sugar or fat, which is what I used to do before.’
      • ‘We are working with manufacturers and suppliers to lower sugar, salt and fat in ingredients.’
      • ‘Who would decide what constituted an unnecessary level of fat in various foods.’
      • ‘Most high-fat equine foods use an animal fat high in saturated fats rather than vegetable oils.’
      • ‘Two pieces of unrecognisable chicken coated in artificial breadcrumbs and deep fried in greasy fat coming up.’
      • ‘Butter has a lower melting point than hard white fats such as lard and hardened vegetable cooking fat.’
      • ‘Pour a thin layer of oil or melt a couple of large tablespoons of dripping or fat in another roasting tin on top of the stove until smoking hot.’
      • ‘Cheaper chocolate contains some animal or vegetable fat.’
      • ‘The fire had started accidentally when fat from the chip pan caught alight.’
      • ‘Tesco and Waitrose have also promised to cut the use of such fats in own-brand food.’
      • ‘He now operates from a van in the Hull area, filtering and cleaning catering cooking fat at hospitals, universities and schools.’
      • ‘That being done, the flesh was raked into small shreds and blended with the warm cooking fat to form a rustic paste.’
      • ‘Under the new rules, how does one dispose of cooking oil and fat?’
      • ‘Whenever possible I cook from scratch, using fresh and organic ingredients, keeping animal fat, sugar and salt to a minimum’
      • ‘A tablespoon of fat - butter, bacon grease, mild oil - is gently warmed in a small, trustworthy skillet.’
      • ‘When the skillet is hot, add enough oil or other cooking fat to thinly coat the bottom of the pan.’
      • ‘Melt the dripping or fat in a frying pan and add the onion.’
      cooking oil, animal fat, vegetable fat, grease
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    2. 1.2 The presence of excess fat in a person or animal:
      ‘he was a tall man, running to fat’
      • ‘A survey shows that these people are more vulnerable to diseases linked to excessive fat.’
      • ‘You don't necessarily lose your powers if you're grey or turning to fat.’
      • ‘These supplements should be mainstays for any guy looking to add bulk while keeping off fat.’
      • ‘He acknowledged that eating clean played a major role in ridding fat in the area and helping his abs show through.’
      • ‘Many active people are curious about their body composition and wonder what percent of their weight is excess fat.’
      • ‘Losing just a few pounds of excess fat will go a long way toward improving your health.’
      • ‘The presence of excess fat in the abdomen is an independent predictor of risk factors and mortality.’
      • ‘As you gain strength, lose excess fat, and begin to look better in your clothes, revel in it.’
      • ‘The zoo said that the adoption of the practice is also aimed at helping the big cats reduce excessive fat.’
      • ‘I can even afford to carry excess fat, having had more than enough to eat in recent months and years.’
      • ‘Research among 38,000 adults found the average man is now an ‘apple’ shape - meaning they carry excess fat on their waist.’
      • ‘Better diets are allowing people to grow stronger than in the 1950s, but much of the extra calorie intake is turning to fat, leading to bulkier waistlines.’
      • ‘He was one of those fortunate athletes who, although very strongly built, never tended to run to fat.’
      • ‘I could hear the hard breathing of Senor Nunez across from me and could almost see in my mind's eye his nasal passages, suffocated by the large amounts of unnecessary fat in his face and throat.’
      • ‘You decided to get healthy, put on muscle and maybe lose a few pounds of excess fat.’
      • ‘Carrying excess fat around the stomach, being ‘apple shaped’, is already known to be potentially damaging to health.’
      • ‘Researchers say those with excess fat around the stomach - the so-called apple shape - are also less healthy than full-figured women.’
      • ‘People who carry more weight around their waistlines are at greater health risks than individuals who carry their excess fat in the hips and thighs.’
      • ‘Aim to keep your pulse rate between 65 and 75 per cent at first, as this will help to burn any excess fat as well as increasing your cardio-vascular fitness.’
      • ‘He was six foot one, and he never went to fat the way a lot of other policemen did.’
      fatness, plumpness, stoutness, heaviness, chubbiness, tubbiness, portliness, rotundity, podginess, flabbiness, bulk, excessive weight
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  • 2Chemistry
    Any of a group of natural esters of glycerol and various fatty acids, which are solid at room temperature and are the main constituents of animal and vegetable fat:

    ‘some 40 per cent of our daily calories are derived from dietary fats’
    Compare with oil
    • ‘The 12-ounce bowl contains 25 g protein and only 7 g fat.’
    • ‘I thought triglycerides were fats, so shouldn't he avoid fats?’
    • ‘Though cashews are not technically nuts (they're seeds), they are high in heart healthy monounsaturated fat.’
    • ‘For various reasons, those foods rich in saturated fat offer compensations in a bleak world.’
    • ‘Similarly the more polyunsaturated fat in a product, the more tocopherol it will need to contain.’
    • ‘The energy that every body needs is derived from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.’
    • ‘In an effort to be just a little healthier, we're opting for a peanut butter without hydrogenated fat.’
    • ‘Sucrose is also the basic plant biochemical building block, and can be converted to proteins, fats, and organic acids.’
    • ‘Olive oil is very low in saturated fats and loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats, so choose it over others.’
    • ‘Whole-wheat foods also contain high levels of healthy monounsaturated fats, protein and B vitamin.’

adjective

  • 1(of a person or animal) having a large amount of excess flesh:

    ‘the driver was a fat wheezing man’
    • ‘Cue whinge after whinge after pitiful whinge about how fat she thinks she is, and how much weight she must have put on since entering the house.’
    • ‘I ate 20 nuggets and a chicken sandwich meal and Rob kept on throwing things at me and calling me a fat pig.’
    • ‘He was a large, plump man with a fat gut hanging over his belt.’
    • ‘The case against fat proceeds on the assumption that if a fat person becomes thin, that person will acquire the health characteristics of people who were thin in the first place.’
    • ‘I opened the door and came face to face with a fat janitor smoking a cigarette and operating an extraordinarily loud vacuum.’
    • ‘I don't know how I can look at my stupid, fat bulk in the mirror every day.’
    • ‘I'm sitting at the library across from a very skinny woman and I'm thinking about how fat I am.’
    • ‘Everyday, I see people not much older than me, fat and enslaved to cigarettes and/or alcohol struggling to get on/off a bus let alone walking somewhere.’
    • ‘The same white-and-orange hamster, named Honey, resided in a small cage cleaned out once a week and had grown so fat that she could hardly squeeze through cardboard tubes.’
    • ‘Sows are too fat upon entering the farrowing house.’
    • ‘Your eyes flash all round the platform to see if there are any hugely fat people you can hide behind - has he seen you yet?’
    • ‘He was 67, so fat that he could hardly walk, gluttonous, in ill health and within eight months of death.’
    • ‘Shell makes an interesting point about very fat people: in order to carry that enormous extra weight around with them, they have much more powerful muscles than less fat people do.’
    • ‘The link between the daily traffic jams outside schools and the bored, fat teenagers in the people carriers seemed to escape the members of the obesity taskforce.’
    • ‘I've been visiting a few suburban areas in our country over the last month and have to say that I'm shocked at how disgustingly fat people have become.’
    • ‘She was about Hanna's age and looked nice and friendly: short, a little plump but not fat, with long red hair and freckled face.’
    • ‘She was sitting between a fat man who wheezed a lot and a woman who definitely overdid the perfume.’
    • ‘She was only plump, not fat, but in those girls' eyes, she was a whale.’
    • ‘Despite the ‘real’ people portrayed, I've yet to see a fat person on board or someone with bad hygiene.’
    • ‘Go on a diet with your pet - if you have a fat dog at home, like we do.’
    plump, stout, overweight, heavy, large, solid, chubby, portly, rotund, flabby, paunchy, pot-bellied, beer-bellied, dumpy, meaty, broad in the beam, of ample proportions, falstaffian
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    1. 1.1 (of an animal bred for food) made plump for slaughter.
      • ‘In York Cattle Market the following week there would be one of the biggest auction sales of fat pigs since before the war.’
      • ‘While fat cow and bull prices are still weak, feeder cattle prices are strong.’
      • ‘The market re-opened for the sale of fat cattle and sheep.’
      • ‘We had 2,225 fat sheep on Tuesday and the best lambs made up to 145p/kilo.’
      • ‘The limit of his agrarian radicalism was a demand, conceded by the British, for the removal of differential between Irish fat cattle and animals fattened in Britain.’
    2. 1.2 Containing much fat:
      ‘fat bacon’
      • ‘Use 3 rashers of smoked, fat, streaky bacon with the rind taken off.’
      • ‘Use thin cut smoked streaky bacon as fat as you can get it.’
      • ‘But it is also about three fat rashers of Gloucester Old Spot bacon on thick white bread with ketchup.’
      • ‘The stuffing was seasoned with salt and the bird coated with flour and strips of fat bacon and then roasted in the black oven pot with coals on the lid to maintain an even temperature.’
      fatty, greasy, oily, oleaginous, unctuous
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    3. 1.3 (of coal) containing a high proportion of volatile oils.
  • 2Large in bulk or circumference:

    ‘a fat cigarette’
    • ‘Yet the questions remain: Are clean lungs and a fatter wallet worth my sanity?’
    • ‘The risotto turned out to be excellent and very well seasoned, with its fat grains of al dente rice and its large chunks of tasty mushrooms.’
    • ‘She then turned back and a female friend leaned down, took what appeared to be a fat, hand-rolled cigarette and lit it.’
    • ‘Sometimes the balance teeters in one direction, but mostly I try to even things out by eating a salad on a day after eating a big fat steak with bacon.’
    • ‘Eventually he would come up, sit down, then carefully roll himself a fat, untidy cigarette, spilling some tobacco in the process.’
    • ‘With a mid-engined layout, a fat tyre at each corner and your own bulk almost as low as it can go, the weight distribution is perfect, and the handling truly sublime.’
    • ‘She selected a very fat cigarette which she lit with a petrol lighter, and grinned as it issued a rich sweet-smelling odour.’
    • ‘And then there is a guy smoking a fat cigarette that surely contains less tobacco than greenery.’
    • ‘Peer over your plate to see the deft hands of prep chef Samuel Ramirez shape cornmeal-molasses dough into fat hamburger buns.’
    • ‘Last year, Arthritis New Zealand ran billboards featuring a middle-aged woman sucking on a fat marijuana cigarette.’
    • ‘We sought refuge in the comfort of pipes, nursery food, big fat armchairs in stuffy, overheated rooms and low-risk jobs for life.’
    • ‘But you don't need to be a criminal mastermind to target our rather fat and sluggish financial institutions.’
    • ‘The force of fat raindrops hitting my head was hard enough to make me wince.’
    • ‘In order to attend you need not just a fat wallet but the right connections.’
    • ‘It's a bar where you can enjoy good company, a fat cigar, a dainty cigarette and a glass of fine red.’
    thick, big, chunky, substantial, extended, long
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    1. 2.1informal (especially in the context of financial reward) substantial:
      ‘a fat profit’
      ‘a fat cheque’
      • ‘More than fame, more than fortune, more than a fat cookbook contract, what they really crave is a good sandwich.’
      • ‘And when the great boom began and the country's cities began to develop, there was a rush to profit from the fat contracts on offer.’
      • ‘For the rest, entering the entertainment world means having a colourful lifestyle, fat monetary rewards and an enviable social status.’
      • ‘For years, Hong Kong's developers - owners of some of the most expensive real estate in the world - have enjoyed fat profit margins.’
      • ‘Fat reduction brought fat times for much of the food industry in the early 1990s, helping to spawn such megabrands as Healthy Choice.’
      • ‘Mrs Dobson said the task of the trust has become more difficult over the years as property prices escalated and they had to compete with developers hoping to make fat profits.’
      • ‘Thanks in part to fat fees from those captive funds and betting its own capital and trading prowess, the bank did very nicely thank you.’
      • ‘And so what if they're getting a big fat pay cheque - the money is commensurate with their sporting talent, not a measure of their morals.’
      • ‘He is not the first person to be sacked for missing targets and to walk out with a fat cheque, but what the bankers really disliked was the cut of his jib.’
      • ‘A company making big league profits and paying fat dividends to shareholders should be ashamed of its insulting pay offer to the people who actually do the work.’
      • ‘While they are buying well-known brand names and waiting for prestige and fat profits to result, they tend to forget the major difference between home and abroad.’
      • ‘I'm just glad Rob didn't win (though he's got his hands on the money via matrimony anyway), and that Rupert got a nice fat cheque.’
      • ‘The country's attempts since the 1970s to build a diversified economy from the fat profits of higher oil process have failed miserably.’
      • ‘So what happens to your big fat pension fund in these circumstances?’
      • ‘Because the affordable homes remain owned or part-owned by whichever housing association is involved, they cannot be sold on for fat profits.’
      • ‘He might have assumed a lower profile, but he didn't disappear like many others with a fat cheque, a set of golf clubs and a one-way ticket to Florida.’
      • ‘The fat profits in the sector have driven the number of developers to 30,000 from 4,200 in 1991.’
      • ‘And even if they do not form the next Government, they stand to receive fat pension cheques whilst they continue to work and earn.’
      • ‘All my children have spent time in excellent examples of both, but I have to say I find nothing concentrates head teachers' minds more than the termly handing over of the fat cheque.’
      • ‘The press has done a public service exposing this government's fondness for spin, rich businessmen and fat donation cheques.’
      large, substantial, considerable, sizeable
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    2. 2.2informal Used ironically to express the belief that something is unlikely or does not exist:
      ‘fat chance she had of influencing Guy's decisions’
      • ‘There is fat chance of Tosh forgetting about this season, which surely has the makings of a magical 30-goal one.’
      • ‘In any case, there is fat chance of finding alternative employment in this area, which to an untutored eye looks rich in natural assets.’
      • ‘Maybe the cause is so great or maybe the suffering is so intolerable that the ends justify any means - fat chance, but maybe.’
      • ‘On the other hand, you be nice to me… and a fat lot of good it'll do you.’
      • ‘For the first year I raved and plotted revenge, and a fat lot of good it did me.’
      • ‘But fat chance that such a rational, liberal and secular proposal would ever get through here.’
      • ‘I gave up - there wasn't a fat lot of difference anyway.’
      • ‘A fat lot of good that is to a traveller who would be many miles away by the time it got there.’
      • ‘Ideally, Heaney's talk would be broadcast on the radio but there is fat chance of that.’
      • ‘But transparency is a fat lot of good if the newspapers don't bother to tell the public.’
      • ‘A groovy looking website with nothing to say or to do is a fat lot of use.’
      • ‘This won't mean a fat lot to most of you, but the eventual results might be interesting.’
      • ‘She just didn't like crowds most of the time, except when she could escape notice in them - fat chance.’
      • ‘Such scaremongering is likely to do the nation's health a fat lot of good.’
      • ‘A fat lot of good that did for our magazine industry.’
      • ‘There is a similarly fat chance of us accepting the other unquestioned assumptions underpinning misanthropic doom-mongering about health.’
      • ‘But according to a report issued last week, there is fat chance of this in our part of the world.’
      • ‘The situation requires strong political leadership all round - fat chance.’
      • ‘The reason one goes here is to pray for a healthy and happy pregnancy and trouble free birth - fat chance on the first score so hopefully the birth will be ok.’
      • ‘Ah well, it gives them something to write about, I suppose not a fat lot happens in Solihull at the best of times.’
      very little, not much, minimal, hardly any
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verb

archaic
  • Make or become fat:

    ‘a fatted duck’
    • ‘We were compelled to eat rotten biscuits and stinking decaying meat while our officers fatted themselves with the best food and drank the most expensive wines.’
    • ‘So much like a 19th century professor he appeared, with his thick bristly sideburns covering either well fatted jowl.’
    • ‘We're like a prodigal son but we want to come back and get some fatted calf,’ she said.’
    • ‘A local publication, The Evening Bulletin said, ‘The reporter had been horrified to see two fatted calves strolling up main street!’’

Phrases

  • the fat is in the fire

    • Something has happened that will inevitably cause trouble:

      ‘if she gets hold of the information the fat will really be in the fire’
  • kill the fatted calf

    • Produce one's best food to celebrate, especially at a prodigal's return.

      • ‘The couple recalls how their parents killed the fatted calf ‘and a hog to boot for the wedding feast which was rounded out by sauerkraut and noodle soup.’’
      • ‘Throughout the European countryside, the culmination of harvest season has always been a cue for thanksgiving and merrymaking, a time to kill the fatted calf, crack open a few bottles, have a dance and get seasonally sloshed.’
      • ‘It was my turn to be surprised as he opened his mouth and sang clearly, ‘We'll kill the fatted calf tonight so stick around.’’
      • ‘On one hand, it meant that Mother would kill the fatted calf and we would eat exceptionally well.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, when he returned to civilian life, Nashville didn't exactly kill the fatted calf for him.’
      • ‘Perhaps for the same reasons, however, the American media has done everything but kill the fatted calf.’
      • ‘Father killed the fatted calf that we were saving in honor of someone who deserved it, not that son of his.’
      • ‘They haven't exactly killed the fatted calf but they have been buying in an awful lot of Guinness for the return of their prodigal son on Saturday.’
      • ‘Her mother, Alice, is delighted to see her, but her father, Hank, is not about to kill the fatted calf.’
      • ‘But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’
      enjoy oneself, make merry, have fun, have a good time, have a wild time, rave, party, have a party, eat, drink, and be merry, revel, roister, carouse, kill the fatted calf
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  • live off (or on) the fat of the land

    • Have the best of everything:

      ‘landlords and merchants lived off the fat of the land’
      • ‘After establishing herself in her parent's house ‘living on the fat of the land,’ Katherine began gathering information about her friends' and family's business affairs.’
      • ‘Thanks to the ingenuity of these contraptions' designers and purveyors (people who, one might say, live off the fat of the land), the toils of Sisyphus have been transformed into a healthful pastime.’
      • ‘The rank and file, I'm sorry to say, have lived off the fat of the land put there by our union forefathers and foremothers.’
      • ‘But there are ways to live off the fat of the land without bleeding it dry.’
      • ‘It could be said that he lives off the fat of the land.’
      • ‘Since Rachel was busy living off the fat of the land (read: her mother) she told me she could drive me to school until my dad decided I was responsible enough to own a car myself.’
      • ‘As the play opens under a setting sun we see the care and love the two men have for each other, epitomised by George's tale of a small farm where they can both ‘live off the fat of the land’.’
      • ‘It is also too simplistic to think of all monks as living off the fat of the land and benefiting from the labour of others.’
      • ‘I wished that I was her, and that I had naturally curly hair and that I was an artist, living off the fat of the land, as it were, because it seemed totally alien to me that your family would ever support your own artistic inclinations.’
      • ‘Check the long lines at stands operated by nocturnal vendors, men literally living off the fat of the land, for clear indication of how many people confront-on a nightly basis-the outlawed practice of eating far too near bedtime.’
      lead a very comfortable life, be very rich, want for nothing, live off the fat of the land
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Origin

Old English fǣtt ‘well fed, plump’, also ‘fatty, oily’, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch vet and German feist.

Pronunciation:

fat

/fat/