The word ‘eat’ can mean many different things. As a verb, the meaning is to put food in your mouth, chew, and swallow it.
- I sometimes eat sushi. (consume)
Eat is an irregular verb. The past tense is ate and the past participle is eaten.
idioms list with ‘eat’
- dog eat dog world – ruthless unethical behaviour used to become successful in the working world
e.g. Being a banker is a dog eat dog world. I’m thinking of quitting for the simple life.
- eat for two – be pregnant so you can eat more food
e.g. I need to go on a diet, I’m not eating for two anymore.
- eat humble pie – admit you are wrong after being humiliated
e.g. If the CCTV proves Ethan is innocent, we’ll have to eat humble pie.
- eat like a horse – eat a lot
e.g. I need to increase my son’s rent. He eats like a horse.
- eat one’s hat – express certainty that something will or won’t happen
e.g. I know Adam cheated on the test. I’ll eat my hat if he didn’t.
- eat one’s words – accept that something you said was wrong
e.g. My parents said I’m a failure. They’ll be eating their words when I get accepted into Oxford.
- eat out of the palm of one’s hand – dominate/have control over someone
e.g. The new teacher is great, she had the whole class eating out of the palm of her hand.
- eat someone alive – defeat/overwhelm
e.g. I know his alibi is false. The lawyers are going to eat him alive.
- eat someone for breakfast – easily defeat someone
e.g. Travis is playing Rutherford in the final. Travis will eat him for breakfast.
- eat someone out of house and home – eat a lot of someone else’s food eat e.g. e.g. I’m only allowed around grandma’s once a week as I eat her out of house and home.
- eat your heart out – better than the original (usually a celebrity)
e.g. Look at my quiff! Elvis Presley eat your heart out.
- grab a bite (to eat) – go out to eat (usually in a hurry)
e.g. I’ve got back to back meetings all day. Hopefully I can nip out and grab a bite.
- have one’s cake and eat it – enjoy two things that contradict each other
e.g. You can’t have your cake and eat it. It’s uni or travelling, not both.
- the proof of the pudding is in the eating – something can only be judged once it has been used/tried/tested/experienced
e.g. The idea is great, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
- you are what you eat – if you want to be healthy you must eat healthy food
e.g. I don’t think you should have another takeaway this week, you are what you eat.
Let’s see these idioms with pictures and meaning using real-life scenarios.
Hey, did you know the verb ‘eat’ has many phrasal verbs. Since you like idioms and phrases, you obviously want to improve your fluency and speak like a native.
Am I right?
I thought you might like to learn the phrasal verbs with ‘eat‘ too. They are very common in informal English and great to know/be able to understand if you happen to be speaking to a native. We use them all the time, like literally ALL the time.