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  • Food that is prepared and eaten, usually at a specific time, and usually in a comparatively large quantity (as opposed to a snack).
  • Food served or eaten as a repast.
  • A time or an occasion.
  • The coarse-ground edible part of various grains often used to feed animals; flour or a coarser blend than flour.
  • A speck or spot.
  • A part; a fragment; a portion.


  • To yield or be plentiful in meal.
  • To defile or taint.


  • From Middle English mel, from Old English mǣl ("measure, time, occasion, set time, time for eating, meal"), from Proto-West Germanic *māl, from Proto-Germanic *mēlą, from Proto-Indo-European *meh₁- ("to measure").
  • Cognate with West Frisian miel, Dutch maal ("meal, time, occurrence"), German Mal ("time"), Mahl, Norwegian Bokmål mål ("meal"), Swedish mål ("meal"); and (from Indo-European) with Ancient Greek μέτρον ("measure"), Latin mensus, Russian ме́ра ("measure"), Lithuanian mẽtas. Related to Old English mǣþ ("measure, degree, proportion").
  • From Middle English mele, from Old English melu ("meal, flour"), from Proto-West Germanic *melu, from Proto-Germanic *melwą ("meal, flour"), from Proto-Indo-European *melh₂- ("to grind, mill").
  • Cognate with West Frisian moal, Dutch meel, German Mehl, Albanian miell, Proto-Slavic *melvo ("grain to be ground") (Bulgarian мливо), Dutch malen ("to grind"), German mahlen ("to grind"), Old Irish melim ("I grind"), Latin molō ("I grind"), Tocharian A/B malywët/melye, Lithuanian málti, Old Church Slavonic млѣти, Ancient Greek μύλη ("mill"). More at mill.
  • Variation of mole (compare Scots mail), from Middle English mole, mool, from Old English māl, mǣl, from Proto-Germanic *mailą ("wrinkle, spot"), from Proto-Indo-European *mey- ("to soil"). More at mole.

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