Pronunciation Noun


  1. (uncountable) The flesh (muscle tissue) of an animal used as food. [from 14th c.]
    A large portion of domestic meat production comes from animals raised on factory farms.
    The homesteading teenager shot a deer to supply his family with wild meat for the winter.
  2. (countable) A type of meat, by anatomic position and provenance. [from 16th c.]
    The butchery's profit rate on various meats varies greatly.
  3. (now, archaic, dialectal) Food, for animals or humans, especially solid food. See also meat and drink. [from 8th c.]
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Gospel of Matthew, XXV:
      I was anhongred, and ye gave me meate. I thursted, and ye gave me drinke.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 8, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      And he was pleased to accompany them in their death; for, he pined away by abstaining from all manner of meat.
    • 1623, William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens:
      Your greatest want is, you want much of meat: / Why should you want? Behold, the Earth hath Rootes […].
    • 1879, Silas Hocking, Her Benny (novel)
      As full of fun and frolic as an egg is full of meat.
    • 1936, Djuna Barnes, Nightwood, Faber & Faber, 2007, p.13:
      The way she said ‘dinner’ and the way she said ‘champagne’ gave meat and liquid their exact difference […].
  4. (now, rare) A type of food, a dish. [from 9th c.]
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, [;view=fulltext chapter lxj], in Le Morte Darthur, book X:
      And thenne he blewe his horne that the maronners had yeuen hym / And whanne they within the Castel herd that horne / they put forthe many knyghtes and there they stode vpon the walles / and said with one voys / welcome be ye to this castel / […] / and sire Palomydes entred in to the castel / And within a whyle he was serued with many dyuerse metes
  5. (archaic) A meal. [from 9th c.]
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Gospel of Matthew, ch. 8:
      And hit cam to passe, thatt Jesus satt at meate in his housse.
  6. (obsolete) Meal; flour.
  7. (uncountable) Any relatively thick, solid part of a fruit, nut etc. [from 15th c.]
    The apple looked fine on the outside, but the meat was not very firm.
    • 1954, Cothburn O'Neal, The Dark Lady (page 12)
      She took her spoon and stirred the melted butter into the yellow meat of the yam.
  8. (slang) A penis. [from 16th c.]
    • 1993, Nancy Friday, Women on top: how real life has changed women's sexual fantasies, page 538 ↗
      He sits me on the floor (the shower is still beating down on us). He lays me down and slides his huge meat into me.
    • 2006 John Patrick, Play Hard, Score Big, page 54 ↗
      Just the tight, hot caress of his bowels surrounding my meat gave me pleasures I had only dreamed of before that day.
    • 2011, Wade Wright, Two Straight Guys, page 41 ↗
      Both men were completely, and very actively into this face fucking! Suddenly Bill pulled off of Jim's meat and said,
  9. (colloquial) The best or most substantial part of something. [from 16th c.]
    We recruited him right from the meat of our competitor.
    • 1577, Gerald Eades Bentley, The Arte of Angling
      […] it is time to begin "A Dialogue between Viator and Piscator," which is the meat of the matter.
  10. (sports) The sweet spot of a bat or club (in cricket, golf, baseball etc.). [from 20th c.]
    He hit it right on the meat of the bat.
  11. (slang) A meathead.
    Throw it in here, meat.
  12. (Australian Aboriginal) A totem, or (by metonymy) a clan or clansman which uses it.
    • 1949, Oceania, Vol.XX
      When a stranger comes to an aboriginal camp or settlement in north-western NSW, he is asked by one of the older aborigines: "What meat (clan) are you?"
    • 1973, M. Fennel & A. Grey, Nucoorilma
      Granny Sullivan was ‘dead against’ the match at first because they did not know "what my meat was and because I was a bit on the fair side."
    • 1993, J. Janson, Gunjies
      That’s a beautiful goanna. […]. He’s my meat, can’t eat him.
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