eats; ate/ˈeɪt/British/ˈɛt, ˈeɪt/; eaten/ˈiːtn̩/; eating eats; ate/ˈeɪt/British/ˈɛt, ˈeɪt/; eaten/ˈiːtn̩/; eating
Learner's definition of EAT
1 : to take food into your mouth and swallow it
You'll feel better if you eat something.
I ate a big breakfast so I'm not very hungry.
Let's grab a bite to eat. = Let's get something to eat.
I've been trying to watch what I eat. [=to be more careful about eating healthy foods and not eating too much]
◊ To eat out is to dine at a restaurant rather than at home.
To eat in is to dine at home.
2 : to gradually destroy, use, or take away something : to wear something away
[+ object] — usually + away
[no object] — usually + into, away at, or at
Marketing costs ate into their profits.
The acids were eating away at the metal finish.
The failure of his business has eaten away at his confidence.
3 [+ object], informal : to bother or annoy (someone)
be eating out of someone's hand
: to be completely controlled by someone
eat crow(US)informaloreat humble pie
: to admit that you were wrong or accept that you have been defeated
eat (someone or something) alive
1 of insects : to bite (someone or something) many times 2 : to badly defeat or harm someone or something
Their competitors are going to eat them alive if they don't cut their prices.
If this story gets out, the press will eat him alive.
eat someone's or something's lunch
eat up[phrasal verb]
1 — used to tell someone to start or continue eating
eat up (something) or eat (something) up
2 a : to eat all of (something) b : to use up (time, resources, etc.) 3
◊ A person who is eaten up with or by jealousy, bitterness, etc., cannot escape that feeling and is made unhappy by it.
4 eat (something) upinformal : to enjoy (something) greatly
eat your words
: to take back what you have said : to admit that you were wrong about something
She said she would eat her words if the wedding was called off.
They promised success, but if things don't get better soon, they may have to eat their words.
have your cake and eat it tooorhave your cake and eat it
I'll eat my hatinformal + old-fashioned
— used to say that something will not happen or cannot be true
the proof of the pudding is in the eating
eat is a general word that can apply to any manner of taking in food. consume suggests completely eating something up so that none is left. devour suggests eating quickly and greedily.