Definition of fat in English:

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Pronunciation: /fat/


1A natural oily or greasy substance occurring in animal bodies, especially when deposited as a layer under the skin or around certain organs.
Example sentences
  • The changes are expected to enable the method to provide accurate readings that are unaffected by skin color or body fat.
  • Not much hair, we don't hibernate, and only in the age of super-sizing have we learned to put on a truly impressive layer of body fat.
  • This outer layer of body fat provides insulation from low temperatures.
fatty tissue, adipose tissue, cellulite;
flab, baby fat
informal spare tire, love handles
1.1A fatty substance made from animal or plant products, used in cooking.
Example sentences
  • That being done, the flesh was raked into small shreds and blended with the warm cooking fat to form a rustic paste.
  • When the skillet is hot, add enough oil or other cooking fat to thinly coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Butter has a lower melting point than hard white fats such as lard and hardened vegetable cooking fat.
cooking oil, grease;
lard, suet, butter, margarine
1.2The presence of excess fat in a person or animal, causing them to appear corpulent: he was a tall man, running to fat
More example sentences
  • People who carry more weight around their waistlines are at greater health risks than individuals who carry their excess fat in the hips and thighs.
  • He was six foot one, and he never went to fat the way a lot of other policemen did.
  • These supplements should be mainstays for any guy looking to add bulk while keeping off fat.
1.3 Chemistry Any of a group of natural esters of glycerol and various fatty acids, which are solid at room temperature and are the main constituents of animal and vegetable fat. Compare with oil.
Example sentences
  • Sucrose is also the basic plant biochemical building block, and can be converted to proteins, fats, and organic acids.
  • The energy that every body needs is derived from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
  • Whole-wheat foods also contain high levels of healthy monounsaturated fats, protein and B vitamin.

adjective (fatter, fattest)

1(Of a person or animal) having a large amount of excess flesh: the driver was a fat, wheezing man
More example sentences
  • The link between the daily traffic jams outside schools and the bored, fat teenagers in the people carriers seemed to escape the members of the obesity taskforce.
  • I ate 20 nuggets and a chicken sandwich meal and Rob kept on throwing things at me and calling me a fat pig.
  • She was sitting between a fat man who wheezed a lot and a woman who definitely overdid the perfume.
plump, stout, overweight, large, chubby, portly, flabby, paunchy, potbellied, beer-bellied, meaty, of ample proportions, heavyset;
obese, corpulent, fleshy, gross
informal plus-sized, big-boned, tubby, roly-poly, well upholstered, beefy, porky, blubbery, chunky, pudgy
1.1(Of an animal bred for food) made plump for slaughter.
Example sentences
  • While fat cow and bull prices are still weak, feeder cattle prices are strong.
  • The market re-opened for the sale of fat cattle and sheep.
  • The limit of his agrarian radicalism was a demand, conceded by the British, for the removal of differential between Irish fat cattle and animals fattened in Britain.
1.2Containing much fat: fat bacon
More example sentences
  • Use 3 rashers of smoked, fat, streaky bacon with the rind taken off.
  • The stuffing was seasoned with salt and the bird coated with flour and strips of fat bacon and then roasted in the black oven pot with coals on the lid to maintain an even temperature.
  • Use thin cut smoked streaky bacon as fat as you can get it.
fatty, greasy, oily, oleaginous
formal pinguid
1.3Large in bulk or circumference: a fat cigarette
More example sentences
  • Eventually he would come up, sit down, then carefully roll himself a fat, untidy cigarette, spilling some tobacco in the process.
  • Yet the questions remain: Are clean lungs and a fatter wallet worth my sanity?
  • In order to attend you need not just a fat wallet but the right connections.
thick, big, chunky, bulky, substantial, voluminous;
1.4 informal (Of an asset or opportunity) financially substantial or desirable: a fat profit fat motion picture deals
More example sentences
  • He is not the first person to be sacked for missing targets and to walk out with a fat cheque, but what the bankers really disliked was the cut of his jib.
  • For the rest, entering the entertainment world means having a colourful lifestyle, fat monetary rewards and an enviable social status.
  • While they are buying well-known brand names and waiting for prestige and fat profits to result, they tend to forget the major difference between home and abroad.
large, substantial, sizable, considerable;
generous, lucrative
1.5 informal Used ironically to express the belief that there is none or very little of something: fat chance she had of influencing him a fat lot of good that’ll do him
More example sentences
  • There is a similarly fat chance of us accepting the other unquestioned assumptions underpinning misanthropic doom-mongering about health.
  • I gave up - there wasn't a fat lot of difference anyway.
  • Maybe the cause is so great or maybe the suffering is so intolerable that the ends justify any means - fat chance, but maybe.
1.6(Of coal) containing a high proportion of volatile oils.
1.7(Of wood) containing a high proportion of resin: fat pine

verb (fats, fatting, fatted)

Make or become fat: [with object]: numbers of black cattle are fatted here [no object]: the hogs have been fatting (as adjective fatted) a fatted duck
More example sentences
  • So much like a 19th century professor he appeared, with his thick bristly sideburns covering either well fatted jowl.
  • We were compelled to eat rotten biscuits and stinking decaying meat while our officers fatted themselves with the best food and drank the most expensive wines.
  • We're like a prodigal son but we want to come back and get some fatted calf,’ she said.



the fat is in the fire

Something has happened that will surely lead to an unpleasant result or angry reaction.

kill the fatted calf

Produce one’s best food to celebrate, especially at a prodigal’s return.
With biblical allusion to Luke 15
Example sentences
  • Nevertheless, when he returned to civilian life, Nashville didn't exactly kill the fatted calf for him.
  • But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.
  • The couple recalls how their parents killed the fatted calf ‘and a hog to boot for the wedding feast which was rounded out by sauerkraut and noodle soup.’

live off (or on) the fat of the land

Have the best of everything.
Example sentences
  • I wished that I was her, and that I had naturally curly hair and that I was an artist, living off the fat of the land, as it were, because it seemed totally alien to me that your family would ever support your own artistic inclinations.
  • Check the long lines at stands operated by nocturnal vendors, men literally living off the fat of the land, for clear indication of how many people confront-on a nightly basis-the outlawed practice of eating far too near bedtime.
  • It could be said that he lives off the fat of the land.



Pronunciation: /ˈfatləs/
Example sentences
  • There are stalls on cookware for waterless and fatless cooking, herbal medicine, and home-made health products.
  • So in conclusion, Surin's ginger chicken did not pass muster - unless you're Lauren and you like your chicken fatless and flavorless.
  • Baked once and stored in tins, fatless, sugarless squares of dough were cooked a second time before being distributed to men about to embark on a sea voyage or land battle.


Pronunciation: /ˈfatlē/
Example sentences
  • For now, revel in being human and save extraordinary tasks for next week, when the full moon rolls fatly into your sign, and you'll be able to handle them with ease.
  • They were like grapes glistening fatly in the sun.
  • But even when the loaf is squatting fatly in the oven I can't quite believe I've actually created bread - a process both immensely satisfying and which stirs something pleasantly primal deep inside.


Pronunciation: /ˈfadiSH/
Example sentences
  • I am inside the pub at the appointed hour, standing at the bar next to a short, fattish man who also happens to be wearing a blue jacket.
  • It was fattish (Mike insisted it was average) and overly cuddly.
  • The eyes, mouth, and nose were worn away, with small, fattish yellow worms crawling around.


Old English fǣtt 'well fed, plump', also 'fatty, oily'.

  • People have been described as fat since Anglo-Saxon times. The English writer George Orwell said in 1939, ‘I'm fat, but I'm thin inside. Has it ever struck you that there's a thin man inside every fat man, just as they say there's a statue inside every block of stone?’ Cyril Connolly echoed this in 1944 when he said that ‘Imprisoned in every fat man a thin one is wildly signalling to be let out.’ For some women fat is a feminist issue—the title of a 1978 book by Susie Orbach. The Bible gives us live on the fat of the land as a way of saying that we have the best of everything. It comes from the Book of Genesis, in Pharaoh's promise to Joseph and his family, ‘Ye shall eat the fat of the land’. Fat here represents an old sense of the noun meaning ‘the richest or choicest part of something’, which now survives only in this phrase. The fat is in the fire is recorded from the mid 16th century, when it referred to the complete failure of a plan. People spending time chatting in a leisurely way can be said to be chewing the fat. The origin of the expression is not entirely clear—it may have first been used in the Indian Army—but the most likely explanation is that it derives from the similarity between the movements of the jaw in chewing through fat or gristle and those involved in talking animatedly. See also opera, prodigal

Words that rhyme with fat

at, bat, brat, cat, chat, cravat, drat, expat, flat, frat, gat, gnat, hat, hereat, high-hat, howzat, lat, mat, matt, matte, Montserrat, Nat, outsat, pat, pit-a-pat, plait, plat, prat, Rabat, rat, rat-tat, Sadat, sat, scat, Sebat, shabbat, shat, skat, slat, spat, splat, sprat, stat, Surat, tat, that, thereat, tit-for-tat, vat, whereat

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: fat

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