Definition of food in English:



mass noun
  • Any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink or that plants absorb in order to maintain life and growth.

    ‘we need food and water’
    ‘they had eaten their food and slept’
    count noun ‘baby foods’
    as modifier ‘food shortages’
    figurative ‘music is food for the soul’
    • ‘You are eating food in a restaurant that you could buy in a supermarket.’
    • ‘I went to the grocery store that day and bought nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables and grains.’
    • ‘Luckily, the food lives up to expectations set by the interior, with a great wine list, too.’
    • ‘They know how to prepare wholesome, delicious food themselves.’
    • ‘She didn't know how to drive or even where to get fresh food.’
    • ‘The new project is located on a side pedestrian street adjacent to the food market.’
    • ‘Customers could buy good quality food, direct from a range of local producers, without going near any mud.’
    • ‘Food used to be one of the most distinguishing characteristics of a civilization.’
    • ‘Ach well, food tastes better in the open air.’
    • ‘Adding an element of "fun" for the kids entices them to eat foods that are actually good for them.’
    • ‘He could not even chew food properly, leading to digestive problems.’
    • ‘All the food tastes like rubber, like it was sitting up in the refrigerator for five years.’
    • ‘About 90 percent of the money Americans spend on food is on processed food.’
    • ‘Immense queues developed, but everyone was happily served with apparently inexhaustible supplies of food and wine.’
    • ‘My husband is Australian, where they eat lots of fresh summery food.’
    • ‘She has developed a passion for gardening, which is almost as great as her passion for cooking spicy foods.’
    • ‘Urban consumers are increasingly, almost militantly, choosing organic food.’
    • ‘Agricultural subsidies were introduced after the war to increase production and secure food supplies.’
    • ‘A cabinet contains a lockable safe, open shelves for displaying personal items, and a small refrigerator for storing food and beverages.’
    • ‘She ate a lot of processed snack foods and the same big dinner every night and still felt hungry.’
    nourishment, sustenance, nutriment, subsistence, fare, bread, daily bread
    fodder, feed, forage, herbage, pasturage, silage
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  • food for thought

    • Something that warrants serious consideration.

      ‘his study certainly provides food for thought’
      • ‘A recent Security Focus article about US email list brokers provides food for thought.’
      • ‘I seldom agree with their view of things, but they usually provide food for thought.’
      • ‘Their comments helped us to clarify our arguments and provided some food for thought.’
      • ‘All in all these articles provide much food for thought and reflection.’
      • ‘And it provides plenty of food for thought for those writers who are wondering what it is that holds readers to the page.’
      • ‘Although she had been quickly brought back, the incident would nonetheless provide some food for thought.’
      • ‘And this recent Reason magazine editorial provides ample food for thought about Raed.’
      • ‘A wide range of concepts and theories provide scholars with ample food for thought.’
      • ‘Your article certainly gave me healthy food for thought.’
      • ‘Though it might not excite the imagination, it certainly provides food for thought.’
      mental stimulation, mental nourishment, something to think about, something to be seriously considered
      View synonyms


Late Old English fōda, of Germanic origin; related to fodder.