bis·​cuit | \ˈbi-skət \
plural biscuits also biscuit

Definition of biscuit 

1a US : a small quick bread made from dough that has been rolled out and cut or dropped from a spoon While both types of biscuit use the same handful of ingredients and are quick to prepare, drop biscuits don't rely on any of the finicky steps rolled biscuits require to get them just right.— Sandra Wu

b British : cookie The children were divided into groups of five seated round a table and each one was given a chocolate biscuit.— H. Colin Davis

2 : earthenware or porcelain after the first firing and before glazing biscuit china

called also bisque

3a : a light grayish-yellowish brown

b : a grayish yellow

4 woodworking : a small, flat oval of compressed wood that is glued into slots cut into the sides of two boards which are to be joined in order to increase the strength of the resulting bond Have several clamps at the ready; then add glue to the biscuits, push them into the maple slots, and clamp the maple in place. The dry, compressed biscuits swell once glue is applied, so you have to work quickly.— Mike McClintock — compare tenon entry 1

5 slang : a hockey puck To control the biscuit, you've got to win faceoffs.— Lindsay Berra

take the biscuit
British, informal

: to win the prize : to rank first often used to describe something that is extremely surprising, annoying, etc. When he was quite sure that the narrative had ended he laughed noiselessly for fully half a minute. Then he said: "Well! … That takes the biscuit!" [=(US) takes the cake]— James Joyce

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Other Words from biscuit

biscuity \ ˈbi-​skə-​tē \ adjective

Did You Know?

Long ago it was often a problem to keep food from spoiling, especially on long journeys. One way to preserve flat loaves of bread was to bake them a second time in order to dry them out. In early French, this bread was called pain bescuit or “bread twice-cooked.” Later the term was shortened to bescuit. The idea of being “twice–cooked” was lost as the term was used for any crisp flat bread or for bread made with baking soda or baking powder instead of yeast. The word was borrowed into Middle English as bisquite, but was later spelled biscuit on the model of the French spelling.

Examples of biscuit in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The drop biscuits are good—moist and warm—and there's a thick, delicious, and pretty convincing vegan chocolate-peanut butter milkshake made from soy milk, dates, cocoa, and maca root. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "At 3 Squares Diner there’s a dog that won’t bark," 12 July 2018 Honey jarred and sold in Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood may soon be found in teacups and on biscuits across the nation. Ryan Gillespie,, "Steve Harvey appearance nets Orlando teens' Black Bee Honey sweet national deal," 11 July 2018 Council, who writes about her Southern food heritage, hosts biscuits pop-ups around Atlanta. Kathleen Purvis, charlotteobserver, "5 of the biggest names in Southern cooking head to Charlotte for a special weekend," 2 July 2018 Being careful not to disturb the embers, use a fireplace hook to carefully lift the lid every five minutes or so to see if the biscuits are golden brown and cooked through. Leilani Marie Labong, San Francisco Chronicle, "Recipe: Dutch Oven Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler," 11 May 2018 The square buttermilk biscuits are excellent as a side or covered with pepper gravy. Larry Olmsted, USA TODAY, "Great American Bites for Mother's Day brunch," 9 May 2018 Southern delicacies such as shrimp and grits and homemade biscuits are in the regular rotation on his show. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Facts About David Venable, Your Beloved QVC Host From "In the Kitchen With David"," 7 May 2018 My mom always serves M&M’s in these beautiful cut-crystal biscuit barrels at her dinner parties. Madeleine Luckel, Vogue, "How to Plan a Met Gala–Worthy Soirée," 4 May 2018 And, of course, cheddar biscuits are always on the house. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, "11 Chicago food and drink deals for service members on Veterans Day," 10 Nov. 2017

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

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First Known Use of biscuit

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for biscuit

Middle English bisquite, from Anglo-French besquit, from (pain) besquit twice-cooked bread

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Statistics for biscuit

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for biscuit

The first known use of biscuit was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for biscuit



English Language Learners Definition of biscuit

: a small, light roll that is eaten as part of a meal


bis·​cuit | \ˈbi-skət \

Kids Definition of biscuit

: a small light bread


bis·​cuit | \ˈbis-kət \

Medical Definition of biscuit 

: porcelain after the first firing and before glazing

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Comments on biscuit

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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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