Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The edible whole or coarsely ground grains of a cereal grass.
  • n. A granular substance produced by grinding.
  • n. The food served and eaten in one sitting.
  • n. A customary time or occasion of eating food.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A speck or spot.
  • v. To defile or taint.
  • n. Food that is prepared and eaten, usually at a specific time (e.g. breakfast = morning meal, lunch = noon meal, etc).
  • n. The coarse-ground edible part of various grains often used to feed animals; flour.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A part; a fragment; a portion.
  • n. 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
  • n. 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. Any substance that is coarsely pulverized like meal, but not granulated.
  • transitive v. To sprinkle with, or as with, meal.
  • transitive v. To pulverize.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The edible part of any kind of grain or pulse ground to a powder or flour; flour: as, oatmeal, bean-meal.
  • n. Specifically— In the United States, ground maize: more fully called Indian meal and corn-meal.
  • n. In Scotland and Ireland, oatmeal.
  • n. Any substance resembling the meal of grain or pulse; especially, any coarsely ground substance.
  • n. A sand-heap.
  • To grind into meal or the state of meal; pulverize: as, mealed powder.—2. To sprinkle with meal, or mix meal with.
  • To yield or produce meal; be productive in meal: applied to grain: as, the barley does not meal well this year.
  • n. 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. The taking or ingestion of a supply of food; an eating; a refection or repast.
  • n. The milk which a cow yields at one milking. Also called mcltith.
  • To apportion food to; provide with meals or food; feed; fodder.
  • n. A speck or spot.
  • Apparently, to defile or taint.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the food served and eaten at one time
  • n. any of the occasions for eating food that occur by custom or habit at more or less fixed times
  • n. coarsely ground foodstuff; especially seeds of various cereal grasses or pulse

Etymologies

Middle English mele, from Old English melu; see melə- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English mele, from Old English mǣl; see mē-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Variation of mole (compare Scots mail), from Middle English mole, mool, from Old English māl, mǣl ("spot, mark, blemish"), from Proto-Germanic *mailan (“wrinkle, spot”), from Proto-Indo-European *mey- (“to soil”). More at mole. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English, from Old English mǣl ("measure, time, occasion, set time, time for eating, meal"), from Proto-Germanic *mēlan, from Proto-Indo-European *mē-, *me- (“to measure”). Cognate with Dutch maal ("meal, time, occurrence"), German Mal ("time"), Mahl ("meal"), Swedish mål ("meal"); and (from Indo-European) with Ancient Greek μέτρον (métron, "measure"), Latin mensus, Russian мера (mera, "measure"), Lithuanian mẽtas. Related to Old English mǣþ ("measure, degree, proportion"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English mele, from Old English melu ("meal, flour"), from Proto-Germanic *melwan (“meal, flour”), from Proto-Indo-European *mel-, *mol(w)ə- (“to grind, mill”). Cognate with West Frisian moal, Dutch meel, German Mehl, Albanian miell, Old Church Slavonic melvo ("grain to be ground"), Dutch malen ("to grind"), German mahlen ("to grind"), Old Irish melim ("I grind"), Latin molō ("I grind"), Tocharian A/B malywët ("you press")/melye ("they tread on"), Lithuanian málti, Old Church Slavonic млѣти (mlěti), Ancient Greek μύλη (mýlē, "mill"). More at mill. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Three main types of maize meal are marketed in developing countries: whole meal; partly de-germed meal (i.e. meal from which part of the bran and germ has been removed) which is designated under various names (e.g. partly sifted meal, bolted meal, roller meal (Zambia)); and fully de-germed meal from which most of the bran and germ have been removed and which is also designated as “super-sifted meal”.

    Chapter 4

  • With such a cultural diversity, the meal is a mouthwatering blend of Asian, Italian, Indian and American treats that push the stresses of the hospital to the side and tightens the bonds between colleagues used to unrelenting stress.

    Kari Henley: Family Meals: The Forgotten Ritual

  • While this meal is an extreme example of culinary excess, its description is a good preparation for accounts of the food traditions that developed during the Viceregal period and on into the nineteenth century in Mexico.

    The Mexican kitchen: a taste for all seasons

  • But at the same time, I can't help but relate its title to Burroughs 'THE NAKED LUNCH, and parse it as an image of confrontation with reality, an image of that moment of recognition that the "simulacra" of a meal is actually the "objective reality" of a dead animal. posted by Hal Duncan | 5: 02 AM

    Archive 2008-08-01

  • Simply being able to cook a meal is a skill that's disappearing, and it costs people a fortune to eat out all the time.

    First Year Home

  • “Mother, this meal is a work of art!” he would exclaim, holding his plate up to the light, as if making an offering to the gods, while she smiled shyly, inwardly pleased that she could offer this one thing to the wondrous man who was her son.

    2007 October « Becca’s Byline

  • That's what we call the meal experience here, as in Who wants to go to sadness?

    Mudville Gazette

  • The tone of Mr. Urdang's article makes me think he may have been suffering from the temporary effects of a less well-prepared repast, which someone called a meal and set before him with a "There you go!" and a "Have a good day!"

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol V No 4

  • This meal is just one of those perfect ones - minimal or no stovetop required, only a microwave, and the whole thing is a great way to embrace the gifts of the Summer season provided that you have a productive season.

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • A passing insistence on detail – every meal is described, and even the trials of travelling Ryanair get a mention – helps chain a sometimes scatty book to earth.

    La carte et le territoire by Michel Houellebecq – review

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