WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
meal1 /mil/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. food served and eaten at one time:The children were served a hot meal.
  2. one such regular time or occasion for eating:too many snacks between meals.

meal2 /mil/USA pronunciation   n. [uncountable]
  1. Fooda coarse powder ground from the seeds of any grain:barley meal.
  2. Foodany ground substance, as of nuts or seeds.
meal•y, adj.,  -i•er, -i•est : a mealy taste.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
meal1  (mēl),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. the food served and eaten esp. at one of the customary, regular occasions for taking food during the day, as breakfast, lunch, or supper.
  2. one of these regular occasions or times for eating food.
mealless, adj. 
  • bef. 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

meal2  (mēl),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Fooda coarse, unsifted powder ground from the edible seeds of any grain:wheat meal; cornmeal.
  2. Foodany ground or powdery substance, as of nuts or seeds, resembling this.
mealless, adj. 
  • bef. 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

  • a native English combining form, now unproductive, denoting a fixed measure at a time:piecemeal.
    • Middle English -mele, Old English -mǣlum, combining form representing mǣl meal1

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    meal /miːl/ n
    1. any of the regular occasions, such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc, when food is served and eaten
    2. (in combination): mealtime
    3. the food served and eaten
    4. make a meal ofinformal to perform (a task) with unnecessarily great effort
    Etymology: Old English mǣl measure, set time, meal; related to Old High German māl mealtime
    meal /miːl/ n
    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
    Etymology: Old English melu; compare Dutch meel, Old High German melo, Old Norse mjöl

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