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  • A family enjoying a meal, about 1650. Many of the eating and drinking vessels portrayed, together with much of the tableware, are types which have been excavated. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
    A family enjoying a meal, about 1650. Many of the eating and drinking vessels portrayed, together with much of the tableware, are types which have been excavated. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n meal coarsely ground foodstuff; especially seeds of various cereal grasses or pulse
    • n meal the food served and eaten at one time
    • n meal any of the occasions for eating food that occur by custom or habit at more or less fixed times
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

After Meal Time After Meal Time

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Cheese closes the stomach and should always be served at the end of a meal.
    • n Meal mēl A part; a fragment; a portion.
    • Meal Any substance that is coarsely pulverized like meal, but not granulated.
    • Meal Grain (esp. maize, rye, or oats) that is coarsely ground and unbolted; also, a kind of flour made from beans, pease, etc.; sometimes, any flour, esp. if coarse.
    • n Meal The portion of food taken at a particular time for the satisfaction of appetite; the quantity usually taken at one time with the purpose of satisfying hunger; a repast; the act or time of eating a meal; as, the traveler has not eaten a good meal for a week; there was silence during the meal. "What strange fish
      Hath made his meal on thee?"
    • Meal To pulverize; as, mealed powder.
    • Meal To sprinkle with, or as with, meal.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Forty percent of McDonald's profits comes from the sale of Happy Meals.
    • n meal The edible part of any kind of grain or pulse ground to a powder or flour; flour: as, oatmeal, bean-meal.
    • n meal Specifically— In the United States, ground maize: more fully called Indian meal and corn-meal.
    • n meal In Scotland and Ireland, oatmeal.
    • n meal Any substance resembling the meal of grain or pulse; especially, any coarsely ground substance.
    • n meal A sand-heap.
    • meal To grind into meal or the state of meal; pulverize: as, mealed powder.—2. To sprinkle with meal, or mix meal with.
    • meal To yield or produce meal; be productive in meal: applied to grain: as, the barley does not meal well this year.
    • n meal The supply of food taken at one time for the relief of hunger; a provision of food (formerly of drink also) for one or more persons or animals for a single occasion, as at a customary time of eating; the substance of a repast; a breakfast, dinner, or supper: with reference to domestic animals, more commonly called a feed.
    • n meal The taking or ingestion of a supply of food; an eating; a refection or repast.
    • n meal The milk which a cow yields at one milking. Also called mcltith.
    • meal To apportion food to; provide with meals or food; feed; fodder.
    • n meal A speck or spot.
    • meal Apparently, to defile or taint.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In early America, coffee was usually taken between meals and after dinner.
    • n Meal mēl the food taken at one time: the act or the time of taking food: a breakfast, dinner, or supper
    • n Meal mēl grain ground to powder
    • v.i Meal to yield or be plentiful in meal
    • ***


  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “How to trap an atheist: Serve him a fine meal, then ask him if he believes there is a cook.”
  • Jim Rohn
    “Miss a meal if you have to, but don't miss a book.”
  • William S. Burroughs
    “So cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can't fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.”
  • George Leonard
    George Leonard
    “Competition is the spice of sports; but if you make spice the whole meal you'll be sick.”
  • E. Joseph Cossman
    E. Joseph Cossman
    “Square meals often make round people.”
  • Redd Foxx
    Redd Foxx
    “The food here is so tasteless you could eat a meal of it and belch and it wouldn't remind you of anything.”


Make a meal - If someone makes a meal of something, they spend too long doing it or make it look more difficult than it really is.
Square meal - A square meal is a substantial or filling meal.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. mele, AS. melu, melo,; akin to D. meel, G. mehl, OHG. melo, Icel. mjöl, SW. mjöl, Dan. meel, also to D. malen, to grind, G. mahlen, OHG., OS., & Goth. malan, Icel. mala, W. malu, L. molere, Gr. my`lh mill, and E. mill,. √108. Cf. Mill Mold soil, Mole an animal, Immolate Molar


In literature:

As we had brought an ample supply of provisions, we took our meals regularly.
"In the Wilds of Africa" by W.H.G. Kingston
Don't sit down to your evening meal before a complete toilet if you have company.
"Searchlights on Health: Light on Dark Corners" by B.G. Jefferis
The number of meals in the day should then be increased, rather than the quantity taken at each meal.
"The Physical Life of Woman:" by Dr. George H Napheys
But there was much to do before the meal could be prepared, and no time was wasted.
"The Camp in the Snow" by William Murray Graydon
To cook an excellent meal and then serve it well makes the meal perfect.
"The Community Cook Book" by Anonymous
This dish seems very elaborate, but it is very delicious and a meal in itself.
"The Italian Cook Book" by Maria Gentile
The noon meal had to be put on the table instead of into lunch pails.
"The Rich Little Poor Boy" by Eleanor Gates
There was sufficient food in the cabin for one meal for the three of them, and that meant it was three meals for one.
"The Snowshoe Trail" by Edison Marshall
Don't let work accumulate from meal to meal or from day to day.
"The Eugenic Marriage, Vol. 3 (of 4)" by W. Grant Hague
His meals were never late, never scant, and never wasteful.
"The Adventures of Bobby Orde" by Stewart Edward White
Marengo, however, had no such scruples, and he was wont to make several hearty meals each day upon the rejected burbot.
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid
There was no use in trying to stretch the ration out for two meals.
"The Escape of a Princess Pat" by George Pearson
We found food and water in the kitchen, and I sat down and made a meal, while Tao stood watching me.
"The Fire People" by Ray Cummings
The meals, therefore, are plain.
"Girls of the Forest" by L. T. Meade
Each had experience in "meals in" and "meals out.
"American Cookery" by Various
Aye takin' out o' the meal pock and ne'er puttin' in't soon comes to the bottom.
"The Proverbs of Scotland" by Alexander Hislop
Always wash off the teeth after each meal with water.
"The Ladies Book of Useful Information" by Anonymous
The meals in fine weather are taken at long tables in the open air.
"Home Life in Germany" by Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick
She had bought a little tea, sugar, bread, and butter, and she made herself a small meal.
"The Time of Roses" by L. T. Meade
It differs from T. album in having the odor of new meal strongly marked.
"The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise" by M. E. Hard

In poetry:

A'a dear! it's a pitiful case
When th' cubbord is empty an' bare;
When want's stamped o' ivery face,
An' yo hav'nt a meal yo can share.
"Aht o' wark" by John Hartley
On press his foes, and reach the ground,
Where’s left his half munched meal;
The dogs, in circles, scent around,
And find his fresh made trail.
"The Bear Hunt" by Abraham Lincoln
You're free to share his scanty meal,
His plighted word he'll never vary--
In vain they tried with gold and steel
To shake the Faith of Tipperary!
"Tipperary" by Thomas Osborne Davis
Back and forth to daily meals,
Rode his cherished pig on wheels,
And to all who came to see
"Aisier for the pig an' me,
Sure it is," said Morrison.
"Abram Morrison" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Them horses, aw knew varry weel,
Wi' ther trappins all shining i' gold,
Had nivver known th' want of a meal,
Or a shelter to keep 'em thro' th' cold.
"Aht o' wark" by John Hartley
Though, like the widow's meal, thy store
Shou'd be but small — yet in a trice
(If thou dost strictly God adore)
He'll make that little store suffice.
"Concerning The Divine Providence" by Rees Prichard

In news:

It's an excellent, all-in-one camping meal.
It’s an excellent, all-in-one camping meal.
Reflux may be unwelcome post-meal visitor.
Donors got a meal, disaster volunteers got hands-on training and a new canteen got a run-through at a Salvation Army event this past weekend.
Bringing the virtues of locavorism to the necessities of a quick meal.
The only payment is a meal.
Order off the wall at Capital Restaurant, and the meal begins properly: with a bowl of the free house soup.
I don't know about you, but I love slow cooker meals.
There's nothing like a sweet treat after a great meal.
There is room in a person's meal plan to include car­bo­hy­drate foods.
Thanksgiving Day carry-out meal in a four-course menu with choice of entrée selection: pan-seared Norwegian salmon ($75), traditional roast turkey ($70), or Applewood smoked prime rib of beef 480.
Thanksgiving Day carry-out meal in a four-course menu with choice of entrée selection: Pan-Seared Norwegian Salmon ($75), Traditional Roast Turkey ($70), or Applewood Smoked Prime Rib of Beef 480.
Fine wines and premium drinks are paired with the meal.
Memories accrue over decades of cooking memorable meals in it.
In this video, he eats cat food to prove that even animal byproducts from a can taste better than the food Meals on Wheels was serving to seniors.

In science:

Antarctic scientists working on a modern station do not need to worry about cooking their meals, shopping for food or commuting to work.
Astronomy in Antarctica
Microflora persistence on duodenum -jejunal flat or normal mucosa in time after a meal in children.
Model of pathogenesis of psoriasis. Part 1. Systemic psoriatic process
Another variation of the traversal problem, the so-called piece-meal exploration, has been studied by Awerbuch et al. .
Simple Agents Learn to Find Their Way: An Introduction on Mapping Polygons
Finally, the vampire bat shares his bloody meal with roost-mates that are close to starvation.
Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics
My family and I have fond memories of his generous hospitality in Strasbourg in 1973, when he treated us at a restaurant in the nearby French countryside to one of the best meals I have ever had.
Conference Summary (5th Int. Conf. on Hyperons, Charm, and Beauty Hadrons)
The programs (“meal”) could be proprietary or open source; but standards (“recipe”) such as formats and protocols, must be open. A strategy based on closed standards creates many inconveniences for the clients.
Open architecture for multilingual parallel texts
The participants spent about a month in a lovely setting overlooking the Bosphorus, eating meals together, attending and giving lectures, and discussing physics at all hours.
Color, from baryon spectroscopy to qcd