1 of 2


: a usually baked and leavened food made of a mixture whose basic constituent is flour or meal
: food, sustenance
our daily bread
: livelihood
earns his bread as a laborer
slang : money
bready adjective


2 of 2


breaded; breading; breads

transitive verb

: to cover with bread crumbs
Bread the pork chops and place them in the pan.
bread upon the waters
: resources risked or charitable deeds performed without expectation of return

Did you know?

Bread is a food consisting of flour or meal that is moistened, kneaded into dough, and often fermented using yeast, and it has been a major sustenance since prehistoric times. With the right ingredients, it can be a source of complex carbohydrates and B vitamins (add whole wheat, and you increase its nutritional value). Through synecdoche, its name rose to refer to any source of food or sustenance. Reference to a path to sustenance followed in the 18th century. "I was under no necessity of seeking my bread," recounts Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Dough had already been used to refer to money in 19th-century slang and, in a natural extension, bread was served with the same meaning in the jazz and beat slang of the mid-20th century ("Dean just raced in society, eager for bread and love," writes beatnik Jack Kerouac).

Examples of bread in a Sentence

Noun She bakes bread every day. The bakery offers a nice selection of breads and pastries. Verb She breaded the pork chops before frying them.
Recent Examples on the Web
Some of those contracts have helped the government to provide bread for the public with flour bought by private importers. Nora Gámez Torres, Miami Herald, 8 July 2024 This seasonal side dish for BBQ chicken is like a modern twist on panzanella, with baked pita chips in place of the bread, corn and stone fruit in place of the tomatoes and cucumbers, and fresh mint and parsley in lieu of the basil. Karla Walsh, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 July 2024
The tenders are lightly breaded and fried until completely encased in a crunchy, golden shell. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 9 June 2024 To walk into the spice shop and discover what fenugreek is or to go to the Arab Women’s Union that my grandmother was one of the founders of and buy some of these delicious spinach breads to eat while exploring the town. Anastasia Miari, Condé Nast Traveler, 27 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for bread 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bread.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English breed, from Old English brēad; akin to Old High German brōt bread, Old English brēowan to brew

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1600, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bread was before the 12th century


Dictionary Entries Near bread

Cite this Entry

“Bread.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a baked food made of flour or meal
slang : money sense 1a


2 of 2 verb
: to cover with bread crumbs
breaded pork chops

More from Merriam-Webster on bread

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