1 [dahy-it]
food and drink considered in terms of its qualities, composition, and its effects on health: Milk is a wholesome article of diet.
a particular selection of food, especially as designed or prescribed to improve a person's physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease: a diet low in sugar.
such a selection or a limitation on the amount a person eats for reducing weight: No pie for me, I'm on a diet.
the foods eaten, as by a particular person or group: The native diet consists of fish and fruit.
food or feed habitually eaten or provided: The rabbits were fed a diet of carrots and lettuce.
anything that is habitually provided or partaken of: Television has given us a steady diet of game shows and soap operas.
verb (used with object), dieted, dieting.
to regulate the food of, especially in order to improve the physical condition.
to feed.
verb (used without object), dieted, dieting.
to select or limit the food one eats to improve one's physical condition or to lose weight: I've dieted all month and lost only one pound.
to eat or feed according to the requirements of a diet.
suitable for consumption with a weight-reduction diet; dietetic: diet soft drinks.

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English diete < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin diaeta < Greek díaita way of living, diet, equivalent to dia- dia- + -aita (akin to aîsa share, lot); (v.) Middle English dieten (transitive) < Anglo-French, Old French dieter, derivative of the noun

dieter, noun
nondieter, noun
nondieting, adjective, noun Unabridged


2 [dahy-it]
the legislative body of certain countries, as Japan.
the general assembly of the estates of the former Holy Roman Empire.

1400–50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin diēta public assembly, apparently the same word as Latin diaeta (see diet1) with sense affected by Latin diēs day Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
diet1 (ˈdaɪət)
1.  a.  a specific allowance or selection of food, esp prescribed to control weight or in disorders in which certain foods are contraindicated: a salt-free diet; a 900-calorie diet
 b.  (as modifier): a diet bread
2.  the food and drink that a person or animal regularly consumes: a diet of nuts and water
3.  regular activities or occupations
4.  (usually intr) to follow or cause to follow a dietary regimen
[C13: from Old French diete, from Latin diaeta, from Greek diaita mode of living, from diaitan to direct one's own life]

diet2 (ˈdaɪət)
1.  (sometimes capital) a legislative assembly in various countries, such as Japan
2.  (sometimes capital) Also called: Reichstag the assembly of the estates of the Holy Roman Empire
3.  Scots law
 a.  the date fixed by a court for hearing a case
 b.  a single session of a court
[C15: from Medieval Latin diēta public meeting, probably from Latin diaetadiet1 but associated with Latin diēs day]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"regular food," early 13c., from O.Fr. diete, from M.L. dieta "parliamentary assembly," also "a day's work, diet, daily food allowance," from L. diaeta "prescribed way of life," from Gk. diaita, originally "way of life, regimen, dwelling," from diaitasthai "lead one's life," and from diaitan, originally
"separate, select" (food and drink), freq. of *diainysthai "take apart," from dia- "apart" + ainysthai "take," from PIE base *ai- "to give, allot." Often with a sense of restriction since 14c.; hence put (someone) on a diet (mid-15c.). The verb meaning "to regulate oneself as to food" (especially against fatness) is from 1650s. An obsolete word for this is banting. The adj. in this sense (Diet Coke, etc.) is from 1963, originally Amer.Eng.

"assembly," c.1450, from M.L. dieta, var. of diaeta "daily office (of the Church), daily duty, assembly, meeting of counselors," from Gk. diaita (see diet (1)), but assoc. with L. dies "day" (see diurnal).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

diet di·et (dī'ĭt)

  1. Food and drink in general.

  2. A prescribed course of eating and drinking in which the amount and kind of food, as well as the times at which it is to be taken, are regulated for therapeutic purposes.

  3. Reduction of caloric intake so as to lose weight.

v. di·et·ed, di·et·ing, di·ets
To eat and drink according to a regulated system, especially so as to lose weight or control a medical condition.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Training rides are filled with conversations about weight lost or gained and
  the latest diet regimens and food fads.
With an extra large feeding tube it's never been simpler to add essential
  vitamins and minerals to your family's daily diet.
The areas where there was no access to fresh food also had the highest rates of
  diet-related deaths.
AT a medical meeting some years ago, a group of science writers concocted a
  recipe for a sure-fire, best-selling diet book.
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