Word Choice: Meat vs. Meet
The words “meat” and “meet” sound the same, but they have very different meanings. Make sure you can use them correctly in your writing with our guide.
Meat (Animal Flesh)
“Meat” is a noun that refers to the flesh of an animal when it is eaten as food:
Do you prefer your meat rare or well done?
I haven’t eaten meat for years.
I gave the rest of the meat to the dog.
It can also be used figuratively to describe the heart or core of an issue:
Let’s get down to the meat of the matter.
This is the most fundamental or basic element of an issue or task at hand.
Whether used literally or figuratively, though, this word is always spelled “meat.”
Meet (Come Together)
“Meet” is a verb that has a number of meanings connected to coming together. It can mean “make the acquaintance of someone for the first time”:
Would you like to meet my brother?
I’d like you to meet your new boss.
It can also mean “get together with someone,” either by arrangement or by chance:
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Let’s meet for coffee this afternoon.
I never expected to meet you here!
In addition, it can mean “join or touch”:
The carpet doesn’t quite meet the wall.
The two rivers meet to become the mighty Amazon.
One slightly different use is to mean “satisfy or fulfil”:
The presentation did not meet my expectations.
Do you think you will meet the deadline?
In all the cases above, though, “meet” is the correct spelling. The simple past tense and past participle form of “meet,” meanwhile, is “met.”
Summary: Meat or Meet?
These two words sound the same, but they mean different things:
- Meat is a noun that refers to the flesh of an animal used for food.
- Meet is a verb that usually means “come together” in some way.
Because they have different uses, it should be easy to use them correctly. If you are having trouble, though, remember that “meat” contains the word “eat.”
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