Definition: Food

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English fode, foode, from Old English fōda (food), from Proto-West Germanic *fōdō, from Proto-Germanic *fōdô (food), from Proto-Indo-European *peh₂- (to guard, graze, feed).

Cognate with Scots fuid (food), Low German föde, vöde (food), West Frisian fiedsel (food), Dutch voedsel (food), Danish føde (food), Swedish föda (food), Icelandic fæða, fæði (food), Gothic 𐍆𐍉𐌳𐌴𐌹𐌽𐍃 or fōdeins, (food), Latin pānis (bread), Latin pāscō (feed, nourish). Related to fodder, foster.


food (usually uncountable, plural foods)

  1. Any solid substance that can be consumed by living organisms, especially by eating, in order to sustain life.
  2. A foodstuff; a specific kind of food.
  3. Anything that nourishes or sustains, often found in phrases such as "food for thought."

Usage notes

Adjectives often applied to "food": raw, cooked, baked, fried, grilled, processed, healthy, unhealthy, wholesome, nutritious, safe, toxic, tainted, adulterated, tasty, delicious, fresh, stale, sweet, sour, spicy, exotic, marine.

Derived terms

  • fast food
  • food allergy
  • food-borne disease
  • food chain
  • food coloring
  • food court
  • food pantry
  • food poisoning
  • food pyramid
  • food web
  • health food
  • junk food
  • seafood

Related terms

  • feed
  • fodder


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