meat and potatoes

Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.


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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Season meat and potatoes with the paprika, remaining oregano, thyme and rosemary, and salt and pepper.
Getting back to the business basics no degree required "The Meat and Potatoes Guide to Business Survival" is the hands-on, entrepreneurial roadmap to achieving business dreams--regardless of any lack of educational background.
Take equal quantities of the meat and potatoes, cut the meat into small pieces, peel the potatoes and slice some onions.
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.