Commonly Confused Words: Meat vs. Meet 

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What does each word mean?

refers to the flesh of animals (including fishes and birds and snails) when it is consumed as food. 

The word is also sometimes used figuratively to describe:

a) the inner and usually edible part of a seed, grain, nut, or fruit,

b) the most essential or most vital part of an idea or experience.

Here is meat used in an example sentence:

  • We are cooking meat and vegetables on the BBQ.
  • Which meat do you prefer: chicken or pork?
  • Extract the meat from the pumpkin before you carve it. 

Let’s get into the meat of this discussion.

The verb meet describes the act of coming together. The word is also used to describe to act of satisfying a requirement. 

Here is meet used in some example sentences:

  • Where did you meet your husband?
  • Shall we meet at the bus stop or at the cinema?
  • I meet the requirements for the job.

Where does each word come from? 

comes from the Middle English ‘mēte’, which comes from the Old English ‘mete’  meaning ‘food, nourishment, or sustenance’. The word has been used specifically in reference to the flesh of animals as food since around 1300 and figuratively to mean the ‘most essential part’ since 1901.

Meet comes from the Middle English ‘mēten’, which derives from the Old English ‘metan meaning ‘encounter’.

Are there any tricks to help remember the difference these words?

  • Meat has the word eat in it. You eat meat.
  • Think of two Es meeting in the word meet. 

Learn about ea words and ee words in Unit 7.

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09 Aug 2023
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