eaten


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eat (one) out of house and home

To eat large quantities of one's food. This phrase is usually used hyperbolically. Kim may be tiny, but she has a big appetite, so don't be surprised if she eats you out of house and home.
See also: and, eat, home, house, of, out

eat (one's) hat

A humorous action that one will allegedly take if something very unlikely happens. Kevin is always late, so if he actually shows up on time, I'll eat my hat.
See also: eat, hat

eat (one's) heart out

1. To feel great sadness. I feel just awful for Mary—she's been eating her heart out ever since she found out she was rejected by her top-choice school.
2. To be very jealous. In this usage, the phrase is often said as an imperative and sometimes mentions a famous person (when the speaker comically claims to be more talented than that person). Eat your heart out—I got tickets to the concert and you didn't! Look at how well I dance now—Gene Kelly, eat your heart out!
See also: eat, heart, out

eat (one's) words

To retract, regret, or feel foolish about what one has previously said. You think I can't get an A in this class, but I'll make you eat your words when we get our report cards! After my negative prediction for the season, I certainly ate my words when the team started out undefeated.
See also: eat, word

eat (something) off

To erode or wear something away. A very corrosive substance must have eaten off this part of the pipe.
See also: eat, off

eat an elephant one bite at a time

To accomplish a large goal by doing smaller, cumulative tasks. When my kids are overwhelmed about projects for school, I always remind them that you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time. The computer company says that their next hardware revision will be a huge undertaking, but they're in no rush to get it to market. They know by now that you have to eat an elephant one bite at a time.
See also: bite, eat, elephant, one, time

eat away

To erode or wear something away. Don't use that harsh cleaner—it will eat away at a soft metal like this.
See also: away, eat

eat crap

rude slang To accept poor, usually demeaning, treatment. How long do you expect these poor interns to eat crap here?
See also: crap, eat

eat crow

To admit that one is wrong, usually when doing so triggers great embarrassment or shame. Ugh, now that my idea has failed, I'll have to eat crow in the board meeting tomorrow. I think Ellen is a perfectionist because the thought of having to eat crow terrifies her.
See also: crow, eat

eat dirt

1. To be subject to insults and harsh treatment. Sometimes used as a hostile imperative. Because of all the bragging I'd done beforehand, my friends made me eat dirt for finishing last in the race. Eat dirt, Jimmy!
2. To retract, regret, or feel foolish about what one has previously said. You think I can't get an A in this class, but I'll make you eat dirt when we get our report cards! After my negative prediction for the season, I certainly ate dirt when the team started out undefeated.
See also: dirt, eat

eat high off the hog

To prosper or otherwise live very well. It refers to the rich being able to afford the choicest cut of meat, which, from a pig, is higher up on the animal. They've been eating high off the hog ever since David won the lottery. It must be a shock for them having to count their pennies like this—they're used to eating high off the hog, after all.
See also: eat, high, hog, off

eat high on the hog

To prosper or otherwise live very well. It refers to the rich being able to afford the choicest cut of meat, which, from a pig, is higher up on the animal. They've been eating high on the hog ever since David won the lottery. It must be a shock for them having to count their pennies like this—they're used to eating high on the hog, after all.
See also: eat, high, hog, on

eat humble pie

To admit that one is wrong, usually when doing so triggers great embarrassment or shame. Ugh, now that my idea has failed, I'll have to eat humble pie in the board meeting tomorrow. I think Ellen is a perfectionist because the thought of having to eat humble pie terrifies her.
See also: eat, humble, pie

eat it up

1. Literally, to eat something, especially to eat all of it. Often used as an imperative. I know lasagna isn't your favorite, kiddo, but if you want dessert, you've got to eat it up. Go on, eat it up. It will make you feel better.
2. To believe unquestioningly that something is true. I told them that I like this stupid school, and they totally ate it up—I guess I'm a pretty good actress.
3. To thoroughly enjoy something. When anyone showers the baby with love and affection, she just eats it up! Great job on the presentation—the board is going to eat it up.
See also: eat, up

eat like a bird

To not eat very much. The phrase evokes the image of a pecking bird. Don't worry about making extra food for Kim, she eats like a bird.
See also: bird, eat, like

eat like a horse

To eat large quantities of food. Kim is staying for dinner, and she eats like a horse, so you better make some extra food.
See also: eat, horse, like

eat like a pig

To eat large quantities of food and/or to eat sloppily. Kim is staying for dinner, and she eats like a pig, so you better make some extra food. Quit eating like a pig in this fancy restaurant—you're spilling stuff all over the tablecloth!
See also: eat, like, pig

eat nails

To act in an angry, often intimidating, manner. Don't talk to that guy, he looks like he eats nails for breakfast! Can you believe she said that to me? Oh, I could eat nails!
See also: eat, nail

eat out of (one's) hand

To be completely accepting of whatever one says or requires. You can tell the candidate has his followers eating out of his hand—they'll believe anything he says, no matter how plainly false.
See also: eat, hand, of, out

eat shit

1. rude slang An interjection expressing anger or contempt. A: "Wow, you're a lousy mechanic, Ben." B: "Eat shit, Randy!"
2. rude slang To accept poor, usually demeaning, treatment. How long do you expect these poor interns to eat shit here?
See also: eat, shit

eat the meat and spit out the bones

To separate good or valuable information from that which is unsound or invalid. With so many manuscripts arriving daily, it's a challenge to eat the meat and spit out the bones. In the beginning, you'll probably need some guidance in discerning the truly exceptional manuscripts. Don't get hung up on outdated terminology in your studies—just eat the meat and spit out the bones.
See also: and, bone, eat, meat, out, spit

eat through (something)

To erode or wear through something. Don't use that harsh cleaner—it will eat through a soft metal like this.
See also: eat, through

eaten up with (something)

Obsessed, overcome, or preoccupied with some negative emotion. I've been eaten up with anger ever since I found out that my co-worker totally sabotaged me for that promotion. I'm really worried about Wendy—she's still eaten up with guilt over what happened.
See also: eaten, up

Revenge is a dish best eaten cold.

Revenge that takes place far in the future, after the offending party has forgotten how they wronged someone, is much more satisfying. I never forgot the way he bullied and humiliated me in high school, but I chose to bide my time. Ten years later, my global corporation bought his family's puny company and exploited it for everything it was worth, leaving him penniless. It's true what they say—revenge is a dish best eaten cold.
See also: dish, eaten, revenge
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

eat crow

 
1. . Fig. to display total humility, especially when shown to be wrong. Well, it looks like I was wrong, and I'm going to have to eat crow. I'll be eating crow if I'm not shown to be right.
2. Fig. to be shamed; to admit that one was wrong. When it became clear that they had arrested the wrong person, the police had to eat crow. Mary talked to Joe as if he was an uneducated idiot, till she found out he was a college professor. That made her eat crow.
See also: crow, eat

eat humble pie

to act very humble when one is shown to be wrong. I think I'm right, but if I'm wrong, I'll eat humble pie. You think you're so smart. I hope you have to eat humble pie.
See also: eat, humble, pie

eat like a bird

Fig. to eat only small amounts of food; to peck at one's food. Jane is very slim because she eats like a bird. Bill is trying to lose weight by eating like a bird.
See also: bird, eat, like

eat like a horse

Fig. to eat large amounts of food. No wonder he's so fat. He eats like a horse. John works like a horse and eats like a horse, so he never gets fat.
See also: eat, horse, like

eat something away

to erode something; to consume something bit by bit. The acid ate the finish away. It ate away the finish.
See also: away, eat
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

eat crow

Also, eat dirt or humble pie . Be forced to admit a humiliating mistake, as in When the reporter got the facts all wrong, his editor made him eat crow. The first term's origin has been lost, although a story relates that it involved a War of 1812 encounter in which a British officer made an American soldier eat part of a crow he had shot in British territory. Whether or not it is true, the fact remains that crow meat tastes terrible. The two variants originated in Britain. Dirt obviously tastes bad. And humble pie alludes to a pie made from umbles, a deer's undesirable innards (heart, liver, entrails). [Early 1800s] Also see eat one's words.
See also: crow, eat

eat like a bird

Eat very little, as in Jan is very thin-she eats like a bird. This simile alludes to the mistaken impression that birds don't eat much (they actually do, relative to their size), and dates from the first half of the 1900s. An antonym is eat like a horse, dating from the early 1700s, and alluding to the tendency of horses to eat whatever food is available. For example, I never have enough food for Ellen-she eats like a horse!
See also: bird, eat, like

eat shit

Also, eat crap. Submit to degrading treatment, as in He refused to eat shit from the coach. James T. Farrell had the one term in Grandeur (1930), "They don't eat nobody's crap," and Mario Puzo the other in Dark Arena (1955), "He'd eaten shit all week." [ Vulgar slang; second half of 1800s]
See also: eat, shit
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

eat like a bird

If you eat like a bird, you eat very little. She ate like a bird, refused a glass of wine, and was only interested in talking about her work. My younger daughter eats like a bird.
See also: bird, eat, like

eat crow

AMERICAN
If someone eats crow, they admit that they have been wrong and apologize. He wanted to make his critics eat crow. I didn't want to eat crow the rest of my life if my theories were wrong. Note: The usual British expression is eat humble pie.
See also: crow, eat

eat like a horse

INFORMAL
If someone eats like a horse, they eat a lot because they have a large appetite. When Kelly is on medication, he eats like a horse.
See also: eat, horse, like

eat humble pie

If someone eats humble pie, they admit that they have been wrong and apologize. The Queen's Press secretary was forced to eat humble pie yesterday and publicly apologize to the duchess. The critics were too quick to give their verdict on us. We hope they'll be eating humble pie before the end of the season. Note: Humble pie is sometimes used in other structures with a similar meaning. After their victory, he took delight in handing out large helpings of humble pie to just about everyone. Note: `Umbles' is an old word for the guts and offal (= organs such as the liver) of deer. When rich people had the good parts of the meat to eat, the `umbles' were made into a pie for their servants. As `umbles' pie was eaten by `humble' people, the two words gradually became confused. `Humble pie' came to be used to refer to something humiliating or unpleasant.
See also: eat, humble, pie

eat like a pig

INFORMAL
If someone eats like a pig, they eat a lot of food, often in a greedy or unpleasant manner. He was the sort who could eat like a pig and never put on weight. They ate like pigs. I'd never seen anybody eat like this.
See also: eat, like, pig
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

eat crow

be humiliated by your defeats or mistakes. North American informal
In the USA ‘boiled crow’ has been a metaphor for something extremely disagreeable since the late 19th century.
See also: crow, eat

eat dirt

suffer insults or humiliation. informal
In the USA eat dirt also has the sense of ‘make a humiliating retraction’ or ‘eat your words’.
See also: dirt, eat

eat like a horse

eat heartily and greedily.
See also: eat, horse, like

eat humble pie

make a humble apology and accept humiliation.
Humble pie is from a mid 19th-century pun based on umbles , meaning ‘offal’, which was considered to be an inferior food.
1998 Spectator A white youth behind us did shout racial abuse. But…after the game was over his companions forced him to come up to Darcus to eat humble pie.
See also: eat, humble, pie
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ˌeat humble ˈpie

(British English) (American English eat ˈcrow) say and show that you are sorry for a mistake that you made: I had to eat humble pie when Harry, who I said would never have any success, won first prize.This comes from a pun on the old word umbles, meaning ‘offal’ (= the inside parts of an animal), which was considered inferior food.
See also: eat, humble, pie

eat like a ˈbird

eat very little: She’s so afraid of putting on weight that she eats like a bird.
See also: bird, eat, like

eat like a ˈhorse

eat very large quantities of food: My brother eats like a horse but never puts on any weight.
See also: eat, horse, like
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

eat crow

tv. to display total humility, especially when shown to be wrong. Well, it looks like I was wrong, and I’m going to have to eat crow.
See also: crow, eat

eat nails

tv. to do something extreme in extreme anger. (see also mad enough to eat nails.) Sam was ready to eat nails.
See also: eat, nail
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

eat crow

To be forced to accept a humiliating defeat.
See also: crow, eat

eat humble pie

To be forced to apologize abjectly or admit one's faults in humiliating circumstances.
See also: eat, humble, pie
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in methyl mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish.
Economies of violence -- of eating and being eaten -- are inescapable in our world, Weil believes.
--Eating alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food being eaten.
In 1976, in a small, remote Libyan village, 13 plague cases occurred after a sick camel was slaughtered and its meat eaten (4).
Soybeans can be eaten in several forms, from a milk substitute to tofu.
When close attention is paid to the experience of eating something that is very good, rather than just eating food to fill our stomachs, we have an entirely new grasp of what we've eaten. Reinhart calls this "an awakening." In it, we're taken from the physical, sensual experience of taste back again to the evocative metaphor.
"Although they may eat more per individual, a lot of them die before they've eaten their fill," says Stiling.
But if you asked them to estimate how many ounces or calories they had eaten, there was no difference between what the two groups reported.
Jacobson says economic realities mean it would more likely be eaten up by suburban development--a point well taken.
She said that she had killed them and eaten them for Thanksgiving dinner!
Although Guam syndrome remains a mystery, a study in the July 24 LANCET from the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe suggests that three commonly eaten tropical fruits--soursop, custard apple, and pomme cannelle--and teas made from these plants may cause other Parkinson's-like diseases.
All three workers had recently eaten meals at the factory cafeteria.
Even in Diet America there are still times when Americans remember that food isn't just a matter of carbohydrates and calories and that it shouldn't be eaten in a rush or alone.
You've just eaten, so you don't need to eat for a while.
The body's natural sensors aren't very good at recognizing how many calories a person has just eaten. The fallibility of this satiety feedback system makes it easy to overindulge in calorie-rich foods, such as those high in fat.