General English


  • noun animal flesh that is eaten as food
  • suffix
    (written as -meat)
    showing the flesh of an animal, used in particularly in the EU


  • noun the thick central part of the blade of the bat, a few inches above the bottom edge
    Citation ‘Fernando’s bouncers were daringly pulled away – some off the meat of the bat, others off the edge – and Vaas and Murali weren’t allowed to cast their pressure net’ (Bangladesh Observer13 December 2005)


  • The edible muscle of any animal including vertebrates, invertebrates, molluscs, crustaceans, etc. Sometimes used of soft tissues not necessarily muscular as in molluscs
  • The central edible part of a fruit or nut


  • prefix
    (written as meat-)
    relating to a meatus


  • noun food from an animal’s body

Origin & History of “meat”

Etymologically, meat is a ‘portion of food measured out’. The word’s ultimate source is Indo-European *mat-, *met-‘measure’, which also lies behind English measure. this produced a prehistoric Germanic *matiz, which by the time it passed into Old English as mete had broadened out in meaning from ‘portion of food’ to simply ‘food’. that is still the meaning of its Germanic relatives, Swedish mat and Danish mad, and it survives for English meat in certain fixed contexts, such as meat and drink and What’s one man’s meat is another man’s poison, but for the most part the more specific ‘flesh used as food’, which began to emerge in the 14th century, now dominates.