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meal1

[meel] /mil/
noun
1.
the food served and eaten especially at one of the customary, regular occasions for taking food during the day, as breakfast, lunch, or supper.
2.
one of these regular occasions or times for eating food.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English; Old English mǣl measure, fixed time, occasion, meal; cognate with German Mal time, Mahl meal, Old Norse māl, Gothic mēl time, hour
Related forms
mealless, adjective

meal2

[meel] /mil/
noun
1.
a coarse, unsifted powder ground from the edible seeds of any grain:
wheat meal; cornmeal.
2.
any ground or powdery substance, as of nuts or seeds, resembling this.
Origin
before 900; Middle English mele, Old English melu; cognate with German Mehl, Dutch meel, Old Norse mjǫl; akin to Gothic malan, Latin molere to grind. See mill1
Related forms
mealless, adjective

-meal

1.
a native English combining form, now unproductive, denoting a fixed measure at a time:
piecemeal.
Origin
Middle English -mele, Old English -mǣlum, combining form representing mǣl meal1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for meal
  • For many, their next meal was found at a soup kitchen, if at all.
  • It is common for a combination of cuisines to form part of the same meal.
  • Bay leaves are used scattered in pantries to repel meal moths.
  • It is eaten as a savoury dish, either on the side or as a main meal.
  • When the meal reaches the coffee stage various speeches and toasts are given.
  • Usually snacks or a meal are served while the guests and bridal party mingle.
  • Used on pharmaceutical prescriptions to denote before a meal.
  • It has become part of the culture and is used widely at almost every meal.
  • A meal plan is not necessary to eat at a college cafeteria however.
  • The cottonseed meal that is left generally is fed to livestock.
British Dictionary definitions for meal

meal1

/miːl/
noun
1.
  1. any of the regular occasions, such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc, when food is served and eaten
  2. (in combination): mealtime, related adjective prandial
2.
the food served and eaten
3.
(informal) make a meal of, to perform (a task) with unnecessarily great effort
Word Origin
Old English mǣl measure, set time, meal; related to Old High German māl mealtime

meal2

/miːl/
noun
1.
the edible part of a grain or pulse (excluding wheat) ground to a coarse powder, used chiefly as animal food
2.
(Scot) oatmeal
3.
(mainly US) maize flour
Derived Forms
meal-less, adjective
Word Origin
Old English melu; compare Dutch meel, Old High German melo, Old Norse mjöl
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for meal
n.

"food; time for eating," c.1200 (perhaps late Old English), mel "appointed time for eating," also "a meal, feast," from Old English mæl "fixed time, occasion, a meal," from Proto-Germanic *mæla- (cf. Old Frisian mel "time;" Middle Dutch mael, Dutch maal "time, meal;" Old Norse mal "measure, time, meal;" German Mal "time," Mahl "meal;" Gothic mel "time, hour"), from PIE *me-lo-, from root *me- "to measure" (see meter (n.2)). Original sense of "time" is preserved in piecemeal. Meals-on-wheels attested from 1961. Meal ticket first attested 1870 in literal sense of "ticket of admission to a dining hall;" figurative sense of "source of income or livelihood" is from 1899.

"edible ground grain," Old English melu "meal, flour," from West Germanic *melwan "grind" (cf. Old Frisian mele "meal," Old Saxon melo, Middle Dutch mele, Dutch meel, Old High German melo, German Mehl, Old Norse mjöl "meal;" Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic malan "to grind," German mahlen), from PIE root *mele- "to grind" (see mallet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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meal in Medicine

meal 1 (mēl)
n.

  1. The edible whole or coarsely ground grains of a cereal grass.

  2. A granular substance produced by grinding.

meal 2
n.

  1. The food served and eaten in one sitting.

  2. A customary time or occasion of eating food.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for meal

meal

Related Terms

square


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with meal

meal

In addition to the idiom beginning with meal ; also see square meal
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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