ba·​gel ˈbā-gəl How to pronounce bagel (audio)
plural bagels
: a firm doughnut-shaped roll traditionally made by boiling and then baking
[from the resemblance of a bagel to the zero in the score of such a set] tennis, slang : a set (see set entry 2 sense 15) in which one player or team wins every game
They were never in danger of losing, taking a 5-1 lead in the first set and registering a bagel in the second. Mike McGovern

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The author is a writer, birdwatcher and amateur bagel maker, out searching for the sweetest bite. Shanti L. Nelson, Los Angeles Times, 11 Nov. 2022 The other day, someone there stole a bagel from a deli. Kashana Cauley, The New Yorker, 4 Nov. 2022 What to order: Feel good wrap; everything bagel fries. Kylee Van Horn And Allison Knott, Outside Online, 26 Oct. 2022 Skip the late-night party and throw a leisurely birthday bagel brunch! Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Oct. 2022 The people who order a bagel with the middle pulled out. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Sep. 2022 When comparing foods, the study gave an ice cream cone with nuts and chocolate ice cream a 37, while a multigrain bagel with raisins received a 19 and saltine crackers a 7. Charmaine Patterson, Peoplemag, 17 Aug. 2022 Or even easier, just toast a bagel or slice of bread, slather it with butter, and call it instant garlic bread. Emma Laperruque, Bon Appétit, 14 Oct. 2022 Doughnuts, dumplings, gourmet fish sticks, where to find the perfect croissant plus a sacrilegious bagel and pre-hippie granola bars. Laurie Ochoa, Los Angeles Times, 1 Oct. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bagel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Yiddish beygl, from Middle High German *böugel ring, from bouc ring, from Old High German; akin to Old English bēag ring, būgan to bend — more at bow

First Known Use

1908, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bagel was in 1908

Dictionary Entries Near bagel

Cite this Entry

“Bagel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



ba·​gel ˈbā-gəl How to pronounce bagel (audio)
: a firm doughnut-shaped roll

More from Merriam-Webster on bagel

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.