To eat one's words
Eat Eat ([=e]t), v. t. [imp. {Ate} ([=a]t; 277), Obsolescent & Colloq. {Eat} ([e^]t); p. p. {Eaten} ([=e]t"'n), Obs. or Colloq. {Eat} ([e^]t); p. pr. & vb. n. {Eating}.] [OE. eten, AS. etan; akin to OS. etan, OFries. eta, D. eten, OHG. ezzan, G. essen, Icel. eta, Sw. ["a]ta, Dan. [ae]de, Goth. itan, Ir. & Gael. ith, W. ysu, L. edere, Gr. 'e`dein, Skr. ad. [root]6. Cf. {Etch}, {Fret} to rub, {Edible}.] 1. To chew and swallow as food; to devour; -- said especially of food not liquid; as, to eat bread. ``To eat grass as oxen.'' --Dan. iv. 25. [1913 Webster]

They . . . ate the sacrifices of the dead. --Ps. cvi. 28. [1913 Webster]

The lean . . . did eat up the first seven fat kine. --Gen. xli. 20. [1913 Webster]

The lion had not eaten the carcass. --1 Kings xiii. 28. [1913 Webster]

With stories told of many a feat, How fairy Mab the junkets eat. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

The island princes overbold Have eat our substance. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

His wretched estate is eaten up with mortgages. --Thackeray. [1913 Webster]

2. 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. [1913 Webster]

{To eat humble pie}. See under {Humble}.

{To eat of} (partitive use). ``Eat of the bread that can not waste.'' --Keble.

{To eat one's words}, to retract what one has said. (See the Citation under {Blurt}.)

{To eat out}, to consume completely. ``Eat out the heart and comfort of it.'' --Tillotson.

{To eat the wind out of a vessel} (Naut.), to gain slowly to windward of her.

Syn: To consume; devour; gnaw; corrode. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To eat one's words — Word Word, n. [AS. word; akin to OFries. & OS. word, D. woord, G. wort, Icel. or[eth], Sw. & Dan. ord, Goth. wa[ u]rd, OPruss. wirds, Lith. vardas a name, L. verbum a word; or perhaps to Gr. rh twr an orator. Cf. {Verb}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • eat one's words — also[swallow one s words] {v. phr.} To take back something you have said; admit something is not true. * /John had called Harry a coward, but the boys made him eat his words after Harry bravely fought a big bully./ Compare: EAT CROW …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • eat one's words — also[swallow one s words] {v. phr.} To take back something you have said; admit something is not true. * /John had called Harry a coward, but the boys made him eat his words after Harry bravely fought a big bully./ Compare: EAT CROW …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • eat\ one's\ words — • eat one s words • swallow one s words v. phr. To take back something you have said; admit something is not true. John had called Harry a coward, but the boys made him eat his words after Harry bravely fought a big bully. Compare: eat crow …   Словарь американских идиом

  • eat one's words — phrasal : to retract what one has said * * * eat one s words To take back what one has said • • • Main Entry: ↑eat eat one s words To retract what one has said, or apologize for it, usu under compulsion • • • Main Entry: ↑word * * * retract what… …   Useful english dictionary

  • eat one's words — idi eat one s words, to retract one s statement, esp. with humility …   From formal English to slang

  • eat one's words — admit being wrong in something one has said, retract one s statement He was forced to eat his words after his boss proved that he was wrong …   Idioms and examples

  • eat one's words — verb To regret or retract what one has said. He didnt think I could do it, but I proved him wrong and made him eat his words. Syn: eat crow …   Wiktionary

  • eat one's words — phrasal to retract what one has said …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • swallow one's words — 1. To speak unclearly; fail to put enough breath into your words. * /Phyllis was hard to understand because she swallowed her words./ 2. See: EAT ONE S WORDS …   Dictionary of American idioms

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