eat like a bird

(redirected from one eats like a bird)

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

eat like a bird/horse, to

To eat very little/very much. The first comes from the misconception that birds don’t eat much, and indeed, they seem to peck away at tiny bits of seed and other food. In fact, however, they do eat quite a bit relative to their size, some birds actually consuming their weight in food each day. In print the term appeared only in the twentieth century, as in Barnaby Ross’s The Tragedy of X: Drury Lane’s Mystery (1930): “She ate like a bird, slept little.” To “eat like a horse,” based on the idea that horses eat a great deal, dates from the eighteenth century.
See also: bird, eat, like, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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