Make A Meal Of Meaning
(idiomatic, transitive) To spend more time and energy on some task than it warrants; to make something overly complicated.
Example: 1997, Alison Aprhys, Careers in Publishing and Bookselling: How to Get the Job You Want, Hale & Iremonger, ISBN 9780868066363, page 191:
Some people can make a meal out of the simplest task. If you give it to a busy person, they donâ€™t have time to muck around on the edges and worry about it â€” theyâ€™ll just do it.
a. 2004, Kate Williams, Using Information for Decision Making, Second Edition, Elsevier (2004), ISBN 978-0-7506-6427-1, page 53:
They both looked good â€“ I would have been happy with either version. There was no point in making a meal of the decision, so I just picked up the one which was nearest to me on the desk and said, â€˜Weâ€™ll go with this one.â€™
2008, Julia Gregson, East of the Sun, Simon and Schuster (2009), ISBN 978-1-4391-0112-4:
page 131: And if he preferred Viva, fine. She wasn't going to make a meal of it or even give them the satisfaction of a scene.
page 524: Make it quick and painless, she'd told herself, don't make a meal of it.
2010â€Ž November 3, Andrew Barker, â€œMorning Glory (review)â€, Variety:
Ford's character is a bit one-note, and his gravelly intonation suggests a drunken poet more than a respected newsman, yet he makes a meal of the role all the same, and his pronunciation of the word "frittata" may well be the film's high point.
To eat something as a meal.
Don't walk near the tiger: it'll make a meal of you.