leaven


1leav·en

noun \ˈle-vən\

: a substance (such as yeast) that makes dough rise and become light before it is baked

: something that makes a situation or mood less serious

Full Definition of LEAVEN

1
a :  a substance (as yeast) used to produce fermentation in dough or a liquid; especially :  sourdough
b :  a material (as baking powder) used to produce a gas that lightens dough or batter
2
:  something that modifies or lightens

Examples of LEAVEN

  1. a serious book that includes a few humorous stories as leaven

Origin of LEAVEN

Middle English levain, from Anglo-French levein, from Vulgar Latin *levamen, from Latin levare to raise — more at lever
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Food Terms

Reuben, calamari, chuck, curry, edamame, foie gras, hummus, nonpareil, peel

Rhymes with LEAVEN

2leaven

verb

: to make (something) less serious and often more exciting

: to add leaven to (bread, dough, etc.)

leav·enedleav·en·ing \ˈlev-niŋ, ˈle-və-\

Full Definition of LEAVEN

transitive verb
1
:  to raise (as bread) with a leaven
2
:  to mingle or permeate with some modifying, alleviating, or vivifying element; especially :  lighten <a sermon leavened with humor>

Examples of LEAVEN

  1. He needs to leaven his speeches with more humor.
  2. using yeast to leaven the dough

First Known Use of LEAVEN

15th century

Other Food Terms

Reuben, calamari, chuck, curry, edamame, foie gras, hummus, leaven, nonpareil, peel

Rhymes with LEAVEN

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