food

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English fode, foode, from Old English fōda (food), from Proto-Germanic *fōdô (food), from Proto-Indo-European *peh₂- (to guard, graze, feed). Cognate with Scots fuid (food), Low German föde, vöde (food), West Frisian fiedsel (food), Dutch voedsel (food) Danish føde (food), Swedish föda (food), Icelandic fæða, fæði (food), Gothic 𐍆𐍉𐌳𐌴𐌹𐌽𐍃 (fōdeins, food), Latin pānis (bread, food), Latin pāscō (feed, nourish, verb). Related to fodder, foster.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

Various foods

food (usually uncountable, plural foods)

  1. (uncountable) Any solid substance that can be consumed by living organisms, especially by eating, in order to sustain life.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:food
    The innkeeper brought them food and drink.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, in A Cuckoo in the Nest[1]:
      “[…] the awfully hearty sort of Christmas cards that people do send to other people that they don't know at all well. You know. The kind that have mottoes like
        Here's rattling good luck and roaring good cheer, / With lashings of food and great hogsheads of beer. […]”
    • 2013 June 29, “A punch in the gut”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 72-3:
      Mostly, the microbiome is beneficial. It helps with digestion and enables people to extract a lot more calories from their food than would otherwise be possible. Research over the past few years, however, has implicated it in diseases from atherosclerosis to asthma to autism.
  2. (countable) A foodstuff.
    Synonyms: belly-timber (archaic, now only humorous or regional), foodstuff, provender; see also Thesaurus:food
    • 2006, C Williams, J Buttriss, Improving the Fat Content of Foods →ISBN, page 492:
      Variation and changes in the trans fatty acid content of different foods, especially in processed foods, further complicate such estimates.
  3. (uncountable, figuratively) Anything that nourishes or sustains.
    Hyponym: brainfood
    The man's inspiring speech gave us food for thought.
    Mozart and Bach are food for my soul.
    • 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene iii]:
      This may prove food to my displeasure.
    • (Can we date this quote by William Wordsworth and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      In this moment there is life and food / For future years.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Adjectives often applied to "food": raw, cooked, baked, fried, grilled, processed, healthy, unhealthy, wholesome, nutritious, safe, toxic, tainted, adulterated, tasty, delicious, fresh, stale, sweet, sour, spicy, exotic, marine.

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