Main definitions of meal in US English:

: meal1meal2

meal1

noun

  • 1Any of the regular occasions in a day when a reasonably large amount of food is eaten, such as breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

    • ‘During the evening meal at his family dwelling, Jonas hesitatingly asks his parents if they love him.’
    • ‘She went straight to the evening meal afterwards, and sat next to Carden without saying a word, simply because she felt like being difficult.’
    • ‘Already they knew the food for the evening meal was ready.’
    • ‘Most of the guards she saw were simply sitting around socializing over their evening meals.’
    • ‘When they reached the center, it was time for most workers to go home and so the place was teeming with people rushing home for their evening meal.’
    • ‘She had helped to serve the family at meals and would occasionally catch him studying her.’
    • ‘She would have liked tea very much, but it wasn't important; there would be plenty of tea at the evening meal, several hours from then.’
    • ‘After the evening meal, the crowd slowly migrated back towards the Grand Hall.’
    • ‘You can try adding the medicine to a small amount of food and giving it to your cat before her regular meal.’
    • ‘Her mother had mentioned earlier that her family would be joined by a few guests in her parents' apartments for the evening meal.’
    • ‘Here he can enjoy a swim, before continuing to an island restaurant for a buffet meal and leisure time after lunch.’
    • ‘They had gotten used to fairly regular meals since moving here, and he wanted to keep it that way.’
    • ‘It's nearly time for our evening meal, and I can see that you were on your way to your rooms to freshen up.’
    • ‘She presented the garments to everyone at their evening meal, and everyone gratefully thanked her.’
    • ‘It was not really polite for us girls, especially me, to initiate a conversation during our evening meal.’
    • ‘It was an hour past the evening meal by the time they reached another town (they had passed two others earlier that day) and had found an inn to stay at for the night.’
    • ‘We spoke nothing more of the matter for the duration of the meal, occasionally making random comments to one another.’
    • ‘After the evening meal, he and his friends turned over their food bowls to make drums.’
    • ‘This includes an evening meal and breakfast on both mornings.’
    • ‘She spent most of her time in there, only leaving for the afternoon and evening meals.’
    repast, snack
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The food eaten on regular occasions.
      ‘a perfectly cooked meal’
      • ‘Dan nodded, pleasantly, and tucked into his meal of potatoes, roast beef, and vegetables.’
      • ‘The weary traveller can relax here on a shady terrace with a light meal and refreshments.’
      • ‘So he and Teresa invited Jelly to join them and sat down to a meal of beef stew and fresh bread.’
      • ‘Lisa, their cook, made fabulous meals, but nothing compared to the cakes her mother made.’
      • ‘While cooking the meal of grilled chicken, rice, rolls, and peas, the doorbell rang.’
      • ‘Here, cooks will prepare a light meal of mixed salad, tinned cold fish or meat, bread and cheese and fruit.’
      • ‘Once there, she inhaled a small meal of bread and cheese before rushing off to begin work.’
      • ‘This includes the lecture, wine and a light meal of French bread, salami and cheese.’
      • ‘Causey ate a large meal that evening, the best meal he'd eaten in nearly two years.’
      • ‘They stopped at noon for a small meal of bread and cheese.’
      • ‘As usual, the meal was cooked to perfection but I didn't feel hungry.’
      • ‘He picked up his regular meal, toast, wheat-cereal with milk and made his way to a table to eat.’
      • ‘He had cooked a meal of barbecued chicken and boiled potatoes with butter.’
      • ‘I have never washed a dish, cleaned a floor nor cooked a meal.’
      • ‘He had fixed a fine meal of beef, potatoes, carrots and onions, and the men were lining up eagerly, plates in one hand and coffee mugs in the other.’
      • ‘With winter pretty much here, it's a great meal to have for lunch, dinner, or both.’
      • ‘He was more inclined to cook his own meal than order one from some fast food place.’
      • ‘She walked into a small bar and ordered a light meal.’
      • ‘My mom would enjoy cooking those favourite healthy meals of hers in it.’
      • ‘Then quickly she went back to cleaning up the mess while the meal cooked.’
      repast, snack
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • meals on wheels

    • Meals delivered to elderly people or invalids who are unable either to prepare meals or have meals otherwise provided.

      • ‘Now Tiger, I only have three hours until the nice woman from meals on wheels arrives.’
      • ‘They asked if I wanted someone to come, and have meals on wheels, but I'm not old.’

Origin

Old English mǣl (also in the sense ‘measure’, surviving in words such as piecemeal ‘measure taken at one time’), of Germanic origin. The early sense of meal involved a notion of ‘fixed time’; compare with Dutch maal ‘meal, (portion of) time’ and German Mal ‘time’, Mahl ‘meal’, from an Indo-European root meaning ‘to measure’.

Pronunciation

meal

/mil//mēl/

Main definitions of meal in US English:

: meal1meal2

meal2

noun

  • 1The edible part of any grain or pulse ground to powder, such as cornmeal.

    • ‘You remove the tannin by leaching it out of the ground-up acorn meal but are left with a fairly tasteless mush for making pancakes or the like.’
    • ‘The examples compare corn silage to alfalfa hay, ‘normal’ silage, and corn grain plus soybean meal.’
    • ‘Kids preferred supplements based on either corn or soybean meal over those based on fishmeal or molasses.’
    • ‘Treatment cows received diets similar to the control diet except the DF replaced all of the soybean meal and corn.’
    • ‘His vision was to find ways to use soybean oil and meal in parts for his automobiles.’
    • ‘The processors were concerned that between 3,500 and 4,000 tonnes of Zimbabwean soya bean meal was destined for Zambia.’
    • ‘Their diet consists of corn and soybean meal, water, vitamins and minerals.’
    • ‘The diet was primarily finely rolled milo, with sorghum silage, soybean meal, urea, and ammonium sulfate.’
    • ‘While U.S. soybean meal exports to Mexico have been smaller than soybean exports, trade in soybean meal has started to grow very rapidly.’
    • ‘The researchers traced the dioxin to chicken feed, specifically soybean meal.’
    • ‘In contrast, if soybean meal is used as the sole supplemental protein source, there will be no benefit to added valine.’
    • ‘The only problem is, South American soybean meal tends to have less protein, so the African farmer often has to purchase feed additives.’
    • ‘These are the only processing agents that are in contact with the soybean oil and meal.’
    • ‘A conventional soybean expeller saw an opportunity, became certified and started producing organic soybean meal and soy oil.’
    • ‘That dedication allows AGP to be a low-cost supplier to industry users of soybean oil and meal.’
    • ‘It's a key producer of lysine, a feed additive derived from amino acids that is mixed with corn and soybean meal to fatten up livestock.’
    • ‘Frequently, ground limestone is added to processed soybean meal to improve its flowability.’
    • ‘Burcon developed a process to extract and purify valuable proteins from canola meal.’
    • ‘At a board retreat, he suggested adding a soybean extruder to make soy meal and oil.’
    • ‘Soybean meal, milk protein and alfalfa are feed ingredients high in lysine.’
    1. 1.1 Any powdery substance made by grinding.
      ‘herring meal’
      • ‘In July 1988, Britain banned the feeding of cattle with meal containing the ground-up remains of cows, in order to halt the spread of BSE.’

Origin

Old English melu, meolo, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch meel and German Mehl, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin molere ‘to grind’.

Pronunciation

meal

/mil//mēl/