eat one's words

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eat one's words (third-person singular simple present eats one's words, present participle eating one's words, simple past ate one's words, past participle eaten one's words)

  1. (figurative) To regret or retract what one has said.
    He didn't think I could do it, but I proved him wrong and made him eat his words.
    This time, you have to eat your words, because, like it or not, you lost.
    • 1936, F.J. Thwaites, chapter II, in The Redemption, Sydney: H. John Edwards, page 16:
      "Better retract that," she advised, "hadn't you?" "Why should I?" "Because if you're stupid enough to remain in Bombay, I'll make you eat your words one day."