Dictionary

pretzel

noun pret·zel \ˈpret-səl\

: a long, thin piece of bread that is usually salted and shaped like a knot or stick

Full Definition of PRETZEL

:  a brittle or chewy glazed usually salted slender bread often shaped like a loose knot
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Origin of PRETZEL

German Brezel, ultimately from Latin brachiatus having branches like arms, from brachium arm — more at brace
First Known Use: circa 1838
PRETZEL Defined for Kids

pretzel

noun pret·zel \ˈpret-səl\

Definition of PRETZEL for Kids

:  a brown cracker that is salted and is often shaped like a loose knot

Word History of PRETZEL

Pretzels have been known in the United States since as early as the 1830s, when the word pretzel (borrowed from German Brezel) first turns up in writing. In Germany, though, both the hard, knot-shaped bread and the word for it are many centuries older, going back to medieval German brezitela. The word is ultimately a borrowing from Latin brachiatus, having branches like arms. Twisted pastries such as pretzels must have been so called because they suggested a pair of folded arms.

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