Mealy things contain or resemble flour or any other grain that's been ground into a powdery substance (i.e., meal). Good cornbread is moist and cake-like, instead of dry and mealy.

You'll usually find the adjective mealy describing food that doesn't taste great, whether it's an undercooked, mealy sauce or an overripe, mealy apple. In both of these examples, the food tastes dry and bland, and has a crumbly feeling on the tongue. Other mealy things might look like meal, like a mealy sandbox or the mealy bark of a tree. The Old English source of mealy is melu, "meal or flour."

Definitions of mealy
  1. adjective
    composed of or covered with particles resembling meal in texture or consistency
    “it left a mealy residue”
    synonyms: coarse-grained, farinaceous, grainy, granular, granulose, gritty
    coarse, harsh
    of textures that are rough to the touch or substances consisting of relatively large particles
  2. adjective
    containing meal or made of meal
  3. adjective
    abnormally deficient in color as suggesting physical or emotional distress
    synonyms: pale, pallid, wan
    colorless, colourless
    weak in color; not colorful
Word Family

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