feasted/dined/snacked on nuts

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He feasted on nuts
He dined on nuts
He snacked on nuts

Do all of the above convey a similar idea to you? It seems to me that there are subtle nuances among them, but they're just in the tip of my tongue. Could you distinguish them for me? Thanks.
  • GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    No, they don't convey the same thing at all, and the nuances are hardly subtle.

    A feast is a large, elaborate, and often festive but formal meal.

    To dine is to eat the main meal of the day.

    To snack means to eat a snack -- that is, a small quantity of food. A snack by definition is not a meal, and it certainly is not the main meal of the day, or a large and elaborate one.

    One might feast on twenty different courses.

    One might dine on any typical food.

    A handful of peanuts, however, would usually be a snack, not dinner, and not a feast -- unless one were speaking humorously or ironically.


    New Member
    English - United States
    Yes, although to feast could be interpreted to mean to eat a large portion of. Most likely, however, you would say he snacked on nuts.


    I definitely think that you could say, with a somewhat humorous meaning, that you "feasted on nuts". It would mean that you ate a lot of them, so many that it equaled a huge meal.
    I don't think you would ever say you "dined on nuts", as "dine" implies that you are eating a meal, and I don't think anyone would make a meal of nuts.
    "Snacked on nuts" is definitely the most correct option, as nuts are a snack food.


    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    "Feasted" might also give an indication of the person's state of mind. "After 5 days staggering across the desert with nothing to eat but half a mouldy biscuit, he came to a small oasis where he feasted on nuts." (I know, I know, it was probably dates, but you get my drift).

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