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or vittle

[vit-l] /ˈvɪt l/
victuals, food supplies; provisions.
food or provisions for human beings.
verb (used with object), victualed, victualing or (especially British) victualled, victualling.
to supply with victuals.
verb (used without object), victualed, victualing or (especially British) victualled, victualling.
to take or obtain victuals.
Archaic. to eat or feed.
Origin of victual
1275-1325; Middle English vitaille < Anglo-French, Middle French vitail(l)e, Old French vituaille < Late Latin victuālia provisions, noun use of neuter plural of Latin victuālis pertaining to food, equivalent to victu(s) nourishment, way of living (vic-, variant stem of vīvere to live + -tus suffix of v. action) + -ālis -al1; modern spelling < Latin
Related forms
victualless, adjective
revictual, verb, revictualed, revictualing or (especially British) revictualled, revictualling.
unvictualed, adjective
unvictualled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for victuals
Historical Examples
  • But the victuals as are waited for do have a better flavour to them nor those which be ate straight from the pot like.

    Six Plays Florence Henrietta Darwin
  • "Half-a-crown a week and his victuals," replied the farmer, promptly.

    Great Uncle Hoot-Toot Mrs. Molesworth
  • I'll find you in victuals to the end, if you are telling me the truth.

  • They may have wounds, big holes in their bodies, and still they'll gobble their victuals.

  • His mind was too full of other things to trouble himself about the quality of his victuals.

    The Squire's Daughter Silas K(itto) Hocking
  • She brought him every day some victuals, and with it some wine in a bottle.

  • We shall see, when the time comes, whether these changes increasing or decreasing the victuals have determined the sex.

    More Hunting Wasps J. Henri Fabre
  • We were supplied with mules, a tent, victuals, and men to serve us.

    Perils and Captivity Charlotte-Adlade [ne Picard] Dard
  • My dear madam, I shall scarcely care to look at any slice of victuals until one o'clock on Sunday, by reason of looking forward.

    Mary Anerley R. D. Blackmore
  • The widow Gamelin bemoans the dearness of victuals, cause of all the trouble.

    The Gods are Athirst Anatole France
British Dictionary definitions for victuals


plural noun
(sometimes sing) food or provisions


verb -uals, -ualling, -ualled (US) -uals, -ualing, -ualed
to supply with or obtain victuals
(intransitive) (rare) (esp of animals) to partake of victuals
See also victuals
Derived Forms
victual-less, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French vitaille, from Late Latin victuālia provisions, from Latin victuālis concerning food, from victus sustenance, from vīvere to live
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 victuals

c.1300, vitaylle (singular), from Anglo-French and Old French vitaille, from Late Latin victualia "provisions," noun use of plural of victualis "of nourishment," from victus "livelihood, food, sustenance," from root of vivere "to live" (see vital). Spelling altered early 16c. to conform with Latin, but pronunciation remains "vittles."



c.1300; see victuals.


c.1300, from Anglo-French or Old French vitailler, from vitaille (see victuals). Related: Victualed; victualing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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