Definition of feast in English:

feast

Line breaks: feast
Pronunciation: /fiːst
 
/

noun

1A large meal, typically a celebratory one: a wedding feast
More example sentences
  • Traditional elements of the festival, including the gourmet dinner, restaurant meal deals and roving feasts, will remain.
  • We collect donations and the leftovers of wedding feasts and feed the poor.
  • Medieval banquets, Viking feasts, dinner parties, wedding ceremonies, conferences and exhibitions: you name it, this venue can do it.
Synonyms
banquet, celebration meal, lavish dinner, sumptuous repast, large meal, formal meal, formal dinner;
treat, entertainment, jollification;
informal blowout, feed, junket, spread, binge, bash, do
British informal nosh-up, beanfeast, bunfight, beano, scoff, slap-up meal, tuck-in
1.1A plentiful supply of something enjoyable: the concert season offers a feast of classical music
More example sentences
  • The week will then offer a feast of music and poetry.
  • While the game didn't offer a feast of goals for fans back home to enjoy during their World Cup breakfast, it was a case of the result counting for far more than the performance.
  • In Italy, spring offers a feast of events for the art lover.
Synonyms
2An annual religious celebration: [as modifier]: a feast day
2.1A day dedicated to a particular saint: the feast of St John
More example sentences
  • In Russian tradition, name days - feasts of major saints - are more important than birthdays.
  • The most distinctive buildings, events, customs, and ideas are Catholic, from the many community churches and chapels, to the saints' days' feasts, to the week-long wakes in the homes of the dead.
  • The biggest holiday among Basques is the feast of their patron saint, Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order.
Synonyms
festival, religious festival, feast day, saint's day, holy day, holiday, fete, festivity, celebration
2.2British An annual village festival: the feast was the highlight of the village year
More example sentences
  • At Kelfield, near Selby, locals got a good soaking in a medieval ducking stool - a star attraction at the annual village feast held on Saturday.
  • The growing community spirit is also set to lead to the resurrection next June of the annual village feast, which was last held in the 1930s.
  • Festivals were holidays and feasts and the Church even said there should be no fasting on such days.

verb

[no object] Back to top  
1Eat and drink sumptuously: the men would congregate and feast after hunting
More example sentences
  • They shared, according to Tacitus, a war orientated Teutonic lifestyle with a veneration for the portentous powers of sage women and a predilection for feasting and drinking to excess.
  • The assistant peered through the window and saw a group of people feasting, drinking, and reveling.
  • There, musicians played and people danced and sang and drank and feasted.
Synonyms
gorge on, dine on, eat one's fill of, indulge in, overindulge in;
informal binge on, binge-eat, stuff one's face with, stuff oneself with, stuff down, shovel down, wolf down, pig oneself on, pig out on, make a pig of oneself on, cram in, tuck into, put away, pack away, make short work of, get outside of, get one's laughing gear round
British informal gollop, shift
North American informal snarf
1.1 (feast on) Eat large quantities of: we sat feasting on barbecued chicken and beer
More example sentences
  • I'm lucky, for I've got an invite to a bash in the Drill Hall where I spend the night dancing, drinking and feasting on mutton soup, pies and sandwiches.
  • In the summer they have parties on each allotment in turn, feasting on barbecues and getting sloshed on homemade wines.
  • But, whereas the vast majority of youngsters tucked into chips and feasted on cake, fresh fruit and yoghurts were not as popular.
1.2 [with object] Give (someone) a plentiful and delicious meal: they feasted the deputation
More example sentences
  • It was at these capitals where the chief would feast his people after collecting very beautiful and attractive sand, which he spread around the palace.
  • In ancient times, before a battle, a general would feast his soldiers with alcohol and meat.
  • The night before Greatgrandfather left, the village feasted him and sang music and poured jugs of beer over his head.
Synonyms
hold a banquet for, throw a feast for, wine and dine, ply with food and drink, give someone a meal, feed, cater for;
entertain lavishly, regale, treat, fete, throw a party for, play host to

Origin

Middle English: from Old French feste (noun), fester (verb), from Latin festa, neuter plural of festus 'joyous'. Compare with fete and fiesta.

Phrases

ghost (or skeleton) at the feast

A person or thing that brings gloom to an otherwise pleasant occasion.
More example sentences
  • The party has become used to such phantom presences: for the past four years, its former idol appeared like the proverbial ghost at the feast to deliver his speech, take the plaudits, yet shun the centre stage.
  • It is also the ghost at the feast of much polite society in Northern Ireland.
  • But his eyes were drawn nevertheless to the filthy bundle of rags, the skeleton at the feast.

feast one's eyes on

Gaze at with pleasure.
More example sentences
  • This event is being shared by over 40 countries and here in Sligo the line up is one to feast your eyes on.
  • We found ourselves running round the museum as closing time approached, trying to feast our eyes on as many of the archaeological treasurers as possible, devouring every ancient tale and fable.
  • Marie helped me up, and we feasted our eyes on how big it was.

feast or famine

Either too much of something or too little: your cash flow has been feast or famine recently
More example sentences
  • The cycle of feast or famine in production may not be as extreme as it once was but it still exists and there can be significant dry spells when a large-scale film facility would be filled with the sounds of silence.
  • It's been feast or famine at the company.
  • It's feast or famine at golf clubs and we're feasting at the moment.

Derivatives

feaster

noun
More example sentences
  • It can be seen in the way in which animals for slaughter may be placed in order around the altar, or, alternatively, the prospective feasters may arrange themselves around a single animal.
  • The animals provide a high level of nutrition for the feasters, and the act of eating them is a sharing of flesh and blood.

Definition of feast in: