Is there a word that best describes food and drink taken at the same time? I've thought of refreshments and consumables but neither seem right to me.


15 Answers 15


Sustenance refers to food and drink.

  • in American Heritage Dictionary: 2. The supporting of life or health; maintenance: "to deliver in every morning six beeves, forty sheep, and other victuals for my sustenance" (Jonathan Swift)
    – 9dan
    Nov 25, 2011 at 13:53
  • @ScottBrown You might say, this answer "sustains" you! ;) :P :) :D :S
    – bobobobo
    Jun 2, 2012 at 17:56

Victuals might at a pinch be extended to include drink as well as food.


"Victuals" is the correct word for food and drink; or you can use the old English form of the word "vittles". Drink or beverages alone are sometimes referred to as "libations".


According to US Legal, aliments are food or drinks that can provide nourishment and support life.

Apparently in the legal context they may also include clothing, but this was news to me.

  • 5
    Unfortunately if you actually used that word most people would assume you have misspelled ailments.
    – Ben Brocka
    Nov 23, 2011 at 22:54
  • 4
    Aliments has been declining over a couple of centuries, and it's certainly dated, but I'd hardly say it's obsolete. Maybe it's more familiar to me because I know it in French, but alimentation seems like a pretty ordinary word I'd expect competent speakers to know - if only because they were taught about the alimentary canal/tract/system in biology. And thinking about it, if I asked for aliments in French, I'd expect drink as well as food (though I'd never expect to be offered clothing!). Nov 23, 2011 at 23:45
  • 1
    To me, the first thing I think of is the alimentary canal. And since there's only a few situations where I'm likely to think about my alimentary canal that in turn leads me to think, well, let's say "food poisoning".
    – user11931
    Nov 24, 2011 at 1:53
  • Steve314: The French would be insulted. They pride themselves on their haute cuisine. Nov 24, 2011 at 4:39
  • 2
    @onomatomaniak: Trying to imagine the context, I suppose I might be expecting oysters, champagne, and maybe some erotic lingerie wrapped around an attractive young lady - but most likely it would turn out to be a dream anyway, and I'd wake up to find I was chewing my pillow! :) Nov 24, 2011 at 14:16

In my opinion, it depends on what other things you might want to connote. For example, refreshments is a great word for food and drink together - especially food and drink at group functions like meetings and parties.

"I look forward to seeing you at the all-hands meeting. Don't forget that refreshments will be provided."

If you are talking about procuring food and drink together, you might call them groceries.

Victuals and vittles are also correct, but are not used in American vernacular (at least not on the east coast).


I'm a bit surprised that nourishment hasn't come up as an answer itself, although it was used in the definition of another word...

nour·ish·ment/ˈnəriSHmənt/ Noun:

  1. The substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition.
  2. Food.

The first definition would seem to include drink as well as food.


Fare - the food and drink that are regularly served or consumed


I've always liked "comestibles" though there may be a discussion as to whether this includes drinks or not, but then the boundary between food and drink can be a bit fuzzy.


While we're coming up with slightly archaic terms, "provender" is listed in some places as meaning "food" but in others as being a synonym for "provisions".


Is not "meal" appropriate that includes the process of eating and drinking?

  • 2
    Yesterday I went to the store and bought meal for the week. ???
    – GEdgar
    Nov 23, 2011 at 22:30
  • "meals for the week" sounds fine, but agreed this may not be ideal for all contexts Nov 24, 2011 at 7:16

Hmmm, on the vernacular front, I would propose CHOW, GRUB or FARE.


For any fans of internet culture, the answer is clearly Noms, popularized by sites like icanhazcheeseburger.com (LOLCats), wins.failblog.org and others.

I was surprised that it didn't have widespread use outside of the internet - until I picked up my kids from daycare and the carer said "they've been good today - they had all their noms"

  • I am an occasional Failblog reader. Noms? I guess I need to read the words, not merely look at the pictures. That doesn't sound even vaguely familiar to me. Nov 25, 2011 at 9:39

Although "food and drink" is an accepted phrase, technically at least, there is no reason why drink should not be considered as food -- think "liquid foods". That way, I find food a sufficient word for all things that go into the alimentary canal for nutritional purposes, in whatever solid, liquid, gaseous (or plasma?) state.

I think for some living beings, their food consists exclusively of liquids. Some elderly people live on liquids alone.

So why not just say food where there is no ambiguity and food and drink where absolutely necessary?


You can use wherewithal or nourishment.


You could use the word edibles.