Here are 10 idioms with the verb eat in English. Read the definition and example sentences for each of the 10 idioms. Next, take the idioms with eat quiz to check your knowledge. Finally, find a friend and have a discussion using these idioms. To learn more idioms, you can also use short stories providing idioms in context.
1. eat out = go out to a restaurant
We’re really hungry, but I don’t want to cook dinner. Let’s eat out.
Should we eat out tonight?
2. eat and run = eat very quickly in order to go somewhere else
I hate to eat and run, but I have to go to a meeting at 7 o’clock.
Every time they come to visit, they just eat and run. It’s like they don’t want to spend any time with us!
3. eat away at someone = be bothered by something that doesn’t go away
I’m really worried about the situation. In fact, it’s eating away at me, and I’m not getting any sleep.
You look worried. What’s eating at you?
4. eat high on the hog = eat very well, spend a lot of money on a meal
Tonight, we’re going to eat high on the hog. I hope you’ve brought a healthy appetite.
They’re really wealthy. They always eat high on the hog.
5. eat humble pie = be humiliated, made to feel humble
I wasn’t right about the situation and had to eat humble pie in the end.
He’s too full of himself. He needs to eat some humble pie.
6. eat like a bird = regularly eat very little
She’s very ill and I think it’s partly due to the fact that she eats like a bird.
How do you expect to ever put on weight if you eat like a bird?
7. eat like a horse = regularly eat very much
Many football players are encouraged to eat like a horse, especially linemen.
I could eat like a horse when I was a kid. Not anymore!
8. eat one’s cake and have it too = be able to have a prize and enjoy it as well
She works twelve hours a day and hates being away from home. She hasn’t learned that you can’t eat your cake and have it too.
Of course, you can’t eat your cake and have it too. If you want to relax, you’ll have to earn less and live in a smaller home.
9. eat one’s hat = be proved wrong by someone
Andy swore that he wouldn’t make any mistakes. Of course, he had to eat his hat in the end.
I swear that I’ll make you eat your hat about those facts!
10. eat one’s words = shown that you were wrong about something
She made him eat his words. It was very embarrassing.
Have you ever had to eat your words?
Idioms with Eat Quiz
Use one of the 10 idioms with ‘eat’ to complete the blanks. Use either the base form or (eat) the gerund (eating).
1. This weekend we’re going to ____________! I just got a promotion.
2. I’m afraid I had to ____________ because I had a doctor’s appointment.
3. Mark needs to put on weight, so he must stop ____________.
4. I’m starving! Tonight, I’m going to ____________.[/[en]en]
5. I know you’re wrong! You’ll ____________.
6. I’m very worried these days. I have a lot of things ____________.
7. Some people think actors don’t realize they can’t ____________. If you’re successful like that, paparazzi will bother you.
8. You lied. ____________!
eat high on the hog / eat out
eat and run
eating like a bird
eat like a horse / eat high on the hog
eat your words / eat your hat
eating away at me
eat their cake and have it too
eat your words / eat your hat
Discuss the following questions with a friend, class mate – or ask yourself!
Have you ever felt like you were having your cake and eating it too?
When was the last time you ate out? What did you have?
Have you ever had to eat your words? Why?
Do you currently have anything that is eating away at you? What?
Do you ever eat and run? Why?