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

As predicted, men preferred to give the biscuits more often than women preferred to receive them. The Economist, "A paradox at the heart of gift-giving," 28 June 2018 At the bustling Cahawba House, breakfast is all about the buttery biscuits ($1 each) accompanied by local honey, organic maple syrup or local jam (each $. New York Times, "36 Hours in Montgomery, Ala.," 3 May 2018 Humans can try a free, limited-edition biscuit with honey butter, strawberry jam, and pimento cheese, as well as order from the regular dinner menu. Kara Baskin,, "Yappy hour comes to Sweet Cheeks," 28 June 2018 Creamed spinach and biscuits with chorizo sausage gravy also will be available. Patricia Dillon, Houston Chronicle, "The Woodlands offers many things to do for Father’s Day," 13 June 2018 Breakfast also includes egg and sausage casseroles, ham tarts with mushrooms or migas and fresh baked biscuits with homemade sausage gravy. Michelle Newman, San Antonio Express-News, "Where to eat, shop and sleep in Comfort," 11 June 2018 One of the nation’s most beloved biscuits (cookies), Hobnobs are perfect for that most British of pastimes: dunking. Zahra Pettican, Bon Appetit, "11 Positively British Snacks to Order Online Before the Royal Wedding," 8 May 2018 The baked biscuits, up to 2 days; reheat in oven before serving. Sunset, "Manresa Bread’s Buttery Biscuits," 22 Jan. 2018 The chicken entrees come with the excellent square buttermilk biscuits and choice of potato salad or cole slaw. Larry Olmsted, USA TODAY, "Chicken, biscuits and beer: Dallas eatery serves tasty trifecta," 12 July 2018

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

12 Oct 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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