1 [meel]
the food served and eaten especially at one of the customary, regular occasions for taking food during the day, as breakfast, lunch, or supper.
one of these regular occasions or times for eating food.

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

mealless, adjective Unabridged


2 [meel]
a coarse, unsifted powder ground from the edible seeds of any grain: wheat meal; cornmeal.
any ground or powdery substance, as of nuts or seeds, resembling this.

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

mealless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
meal1 (miːl)
1.  a.  any of the regular occasions, such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc, when food is served and eaten
 b.  (in combination): mealtime Related: prandial
2.  the food served and eaten
3.  informal make a meal of to perform (a task) with unnecessarily great effort
Related: prandial
[Old English mǣl measure, set time, meal; related to Old High German māl mealtime]

meal2 (miːl)
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.  chiefly (US) maize flour
[Old English melu; compare Dutch meel, Old High German melo, Old Norse mjöl]

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

"food, time for eating," O.E. mæl "fixed time, a measure, meal," from P.Gmc. *mæla- (cf. Du. maal "time, meal," O.N. mal "measure, time, meal," Ger. Mal "time," Goth. mel "time, hour"), from PIE base *me- "to measure" (see meter (2)). Probably related to O.E.
mæð "measure." Original sense of "time" is preserved in piecemeal; once a more common suffix, e.g. O.E. styccemælum "bit by bit," gearmælum "year by year." Meals-on-wheels attested from 1961. Meal ticket first attested 1870 in lit. sense of "ticket of admission to a dining hall;" fig. sense of "source of income or livelihood" is from 1899.

"ground grain," O.E. melu, from W.Gmc. *melwan "grind" (cf. Ger. malen "to grind," Mehl "meal"), from PIE base *mel-/*mol-/*ml- "to grind, soft" (cf. Hittite mallanzi "they grind," Arm. malem "I crush, bruise," Gk. malakos "soft," Alb. miel "meal, flour," L. molere "to grind," O.C.S. meljo, Lith. malu
"to grind;" see mill (1)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

meal 1 (mēl)

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

  2. A granular substance produced by grinding.

meal 2

  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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Bible Dictionary

Meals definition

are at the present day "eaten from a round table little higher than a stool, guests sitting cross-legged on mats or small carpets in a circle, and dipping their fingers into one large dish heaped with a mixture of boiled rice and other grain and meat. But in the time of our Lord, and perhaps even from the days of Amos (6:4, 7), the foreign custom had been largely introduced of having broad couches, forming three sides of a small square, the guests reclining at ease on their elbows during meals, with their faces to the space within, up and down which servants passed offering various dishes, or in the absence of servants, helping themselves from dishes laid on a table set between the couches." Geikie's Life of Christ. (Comp. Luke 7:36-50.) (See ABRAHAM'S BOSOM ØT0000055; BANQUET ØT0000434; FEAST.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences for meals
Dill seeds were traditionally used to soothe the stomach after meals.
The supporters were given meals by frg in return for protesting.
These ovens are primarily used for reheating food and making microwave meals and popcorn.
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