- To chew and swallow as food; to devour; -- said especially of food not liquid; as, to eat bread."To eatgrass as oxen." [Dan. iv. 25.]"They . . . ate the sacrifices of the dead." [Ps. cvi. 28.]"The lean . . . did eat up the first seven fat kine." [Gen. xli. 20.]"The lion had not eaten the carcass." [1 Kings xiii. 28.]"With stories told of many a feat, How fairy Mab the junkets eat." [Milton.]"The island princes overbold Have eat our substance." [Tennyson.]"His wretched estate is eaten up with mortgages." [Thackeray.]
- To corrode, as metal, by rust; to consume the flesh, as a cancer; to waste or wear away; to destroy gradually; to cause to disappear.synonyms: To consume; devour; gnaw; corrode.
Etymology: OE. eten, AS. etan; akin to OS. etan, OFries. eta, D. eten, OHG. ezzan, G. essen, Icel. eta, Sw. äta, Dan. æde, Goth. itan, Ir. & Gael. ith, W. ysu, L. edere, Gr. 'e`dein, Skr. ad. √6. Cf. Etch Fret to rub, Edible