meal

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English, from Old English mǣl (measure, time, occasion, set time, time for eating, meal), from Proto-Germanic *mēlą, from Proto-Indo-European *mē-, *me- (to measure). Cognate with West Frisian miel, Dutch maal (meal, time, occurrence), German Mal (time), Mahl (meal), Swedish mål (meal); and (from Indo-European) with Ancient Greek μέτρον (métron, measure), Latin mensus, Russian мера (mera, measure), Lithuanian mẽtas. Related to Old English mǣþ (measure, degree, proportion).

Noun[edit]

meal (plural meals)

  1. Food that is prepared and eaten, usually at a specific time (e.g. breakfast = morning meal, lunch = noon meal, etc).
    • 2013 July-August, Henry Petroski, “Geothermal Energy”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 4: 
      Energy has seldom been found where we need it when we want it. Ancient nomads, wishing to ward off the evening chill and enjoy a meal around a campfire, had to collect wood and then spend time and effort coaxing the heat of friction out from between sticks to kindle a flame. With more settled people, animals were harnessed to capstans or caged in treadmills to turn grist into meal.
  2. Food served or eaten as a repast.
    • 2012 March-April, Anna Lena Phillips, “Sneaky Silk Moths”, American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 172: 
      Last spring, the periodical cicadas emerged across eastern North America. Their vast numbers and short above-ground life spans inspired awe and irritation in humans—and made for good meals for birds and small mammals.
Hyponyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English mele, from Old English melu (meal, flour), from Proto-Germanic *melwą (meal, flour), from Proto-Indo-European *melh₂- (to grind, mill). Cognate with West Frisian moal, Dutch meel, German Mehl, Albanian miell, Proto-Slavic *melvo (grain to be ground) (Bulgarian мливо (mlivo)), Dutch malen (to grind), German mahlen (to grind), Old Irish melim (I grind), Latin molō (I grind), Tocharian A/B malywët (you press)/melye (they tread on), Lithuanian málti, Old Church Slavonic млѣти (mlěti), Ancient Greek μύλη (mýlē, mill). More at mill.

Noun[edit]

meal (uncountable)

  1. The coarse-ground edible part of various grains often used to feed animals; flour.
    • 2013 July-August, Henry Petroski, “Geothermal Energy”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 4: 
      Ancient nomads, wishing to ward off the evening chill and enjoy a meal around a campfire, had to collect wood and then spend time and effort coaxing the heat of friction out from between sticks to kindle a flame. With more settled people, animals were harnessed to capstans or caged in treadmills to turn grist into meal.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Variation of mole (compare Scots mail), from Middle English mole, mool, from Old English māl, mǣl (spot, mark, blemish), from Proto-Germanic *mailą (wrinkle, spot), from Proto-Indo-European *mey- (to soil). More at mole.

Noun[edit]

meal (plural meals)

  1. (UK dialectal) A speck or spot.
  2. A part; a fragment; a portion.

Verb[edit]

meal (third-person singular simple present meals, present participle mealing, simple past and past participle mealed)

  1. (transitive) To defile or taint.
    Were he meal'd with that / Which he corrects, than were he tyrannous. ― Shakespeare.

Anagrams[edit]


Aromanian[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Probably of the same origin as mal.

Noun[edit]

meal

  1. steep, scarped shore region
  2. (figuratively) boondocks

Kurdish[edit]

Noun[edit]

meal ?

  1. meaning

Romansch[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • (Rumantsch Grischun) mel
  • (Sursilvan) mèl
  • (Surmiran) mêl

Etymology[edit]

From Latin mel, from Proto-Indo-European *mélid.

Noun[edit]

meal m

  1. (Sutsilvan) honey

Scottish Gaelic[edit]

Verb[edit]

meal (present participle mealadh or mealtainn)

  1. enjoy

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]