meat and potatoes

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1. The edible flesh of animals, especially that of mammals as opposed to that of fish or poultry.
2. The edible part, as of a piece of fruit or a nut.
3. The essence, substance, or gist: the meat of the editorial.
4. Slang Something that one enjoys or excels in; a forte: Tennis is his meat.
5. Nourishment; food: "Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink" (Edna St. Vincent Millay).
6. Vulgar Slang
a. The human body regarded as an object of sexual desire.
b. The genitals.
meat and potatoes Informal
The fundamental parts or part; the basis.

[Middle English mete, from Old English, food.]

meat′ and pota′toes

(used with a sing. or pl. v.) the essential or basic part.


fundamental; down-to-earth; basic: meat-and-potatoes issues.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.meat and potatoes - the fundamental part; "successful negotiation is the meat and potatoes of arbitration"
cornerstone, fundament, groundwork, basis, foundation, base - the fundamental assumptions from which something is begun or developed or calculated or explained; "the whole argument rested on a basis of conjecture"
References in classic literature ?
But the fare was of the most substantial kind --not only meat and potatoes, but dumplings; good heavens
He returned them all except the thimble to the younger woman, with some observation, and she immediately restored them to Maggie's pocket, while the men seated themselves, and began to attack the contents of the kettle,--a stew of meat and potatoes,--which had been taken off the fire and turned out into a yellow platter.
Cargill and Heinz have paired their ground beef and Ore-Ida frozen potatoes, respectively, in a new retail promotion that highlights cost-effective meat and potatoes "comfort food" meals.