Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To take into the body by the mouth for digestion or absorption.
  • intransitive verb To take in and absorb as food.
  • intransitive verb To include habitually or by preference in one's diet.
  • intransitive verb To destroy, ravage, or use up by or as if by ingesting.
  • intransitive verb To erode or corrode.
  • intransitive verb To produce by eating.
  • intransitive verb Slang To absorb the cost or expense of.
  • intransitive verb Informal To bother or annoy.
  • intransitive verb Vulgar slang To perform cunnilingus or anilingus on. Often used with out.
  • intransitive verb To consume food.
  • intransitive verb To have or take a meal.
  • intransitive verb To exercise a consuming or eroding effect.
  • intransitive verb To cause persistent annoyance or distress.
  • idiom (eat crow) To be forced to accept a humiliating defeat.
  • idiom (eat (one's) heart out) To feel bitter anguish or grief.
  • idiom (eat (one's) heart out) To be consumed by jealousy.
  • idiom (eat (one's) words) To retract something that one has said.
  • idiom (eat out of (someone's) hand) To be manipulated or dominated by another.
  • idiom (eat (someone) alive) To overwhelm or defeat thoroughly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To masticate and swallow as nourishment; partake of or devour as food: said especially of solids: as, to eat bread.
  • To corrode; wear away; gnaw into; consume; waste: generally with away, out, up, or into: as, rust has eaten away the surface; lines eaten out by aqua fortis; these cares eat up all my time.
  • To take food; feed.
  • To make way by corrosion; gnaw; penetrate or excavate by disorganization or destruction of substance: as, a cancer eats into the flesh.
  • To taste; relish: as, it eats like the finest peach.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To chew and swallow as food; to devour; -- said especially of food not liquid.
  • transitive verb To corrode, as metal, by rust; to consume the flesh, as a cancer; to waste or wear away; to destroy gradually; to cause to disappear.
  • transitive verb See under Humble.
  • transitive verb (partitive use).
  • transitive verb to retract what one has said. (See the Citation under Blurt.)
  • transitive verb to consume completely.
  • transitive verb (Naut.) to gain slowly to windward of her.
  • intransitive verb To take food; to feed; especially, to take solid, in distinction from liquid, food; to board.
  • intransitive verb To taste or relish.
  • intransitive verb To make one's way slowly.
  • intransitive verb to make way by corrosion; to gnaw; to consume.
  • intransitive verb (Naut.) to keep the course when closehauled with but little steering; -- said of a vessel.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive, intransitive To consume (something solid or semi-solid, usually food) by putting it into the mouth and swallowing it.
  • verb intransitive To consume a meal.
  • verb intransitive, ergative To be eaten.
  • verb transitive To destroy, consume, or use up.
  • verb transitive, informal To cause (someone) to worry.
  • verb transitive, business To take the loss in a transaction.
  • verb transitive, intransitive To corrode or erode.
  • verb transitive, informal To damage, destroy, or fail to eject a removable part or an inserted object.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English eten, from Old English etan; see ed- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English eten, from Old English etan ("to eat"), from Proto-Germanic *etanan (“to eat”), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁ed- (“to eat”). Cognate with Scots aet ("to eat"), West Frisian ite, Dutch eten ("to eat"), German essen ("to eat"), Swedish äta ("to eat"), Danish æde ("to eat"), and more distantly with Latin edō ("eat", v), Ancient Greek ἔδω (edō), Russian есть (jest', "to eat"), and Lithuanian ėsti.

Examples

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