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
Toast bread: Spread butter evenly over one side of each bread slice. Ann Taylor Pittman, Southern Living, 12 Sep. 2023 Challah — the rich, traditional Jewish bread — is first blessed then served to start dinner for Rosh Hashana, the celebration of the New Year this year on Friday evening. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, 11 Sep. 2023 The bread, whether rye, Pullman, challah or baguette, needs to be fresh. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 11 Sep. 2023 The restaurant also makes a mean charcuterie and cheese platter that features bread, olives, cheese, and meat. Alex Darus, cleveland, 11 Sep. 2023 The chain is known for its sandwiches served on Olga bread, salads and Snackers, which are made with Olga bread and served with spreadable cheese. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 9 Sep. 2023 Pita bread, falafel and hummus are made on-site, and the restaurant eschews preservatives in favor of fresh ingredients, per Yiannouris. Amanda Yeager, Baltimore Sun, 7 Sep. 2023 Courtesy Birch This is part of Breaking Bread, a collection of stories that highlights how bread is made, eaten, and shared around the world. Cathy Erway, Bon Appétit, 5 Sep. 2023 Working in two batches, dip 2 bread slices into egg mixture, and then add to hot skillet. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 1 Sep. 2023
Chicken breast is pounded, breaded and fried on its way to becoming a satisfying Milanese dressed with peppery arugula and lemon-caper butter. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 7 July 2023 Place breaded tomatoes in a single layer on a plate. Jasmine Smith, Southern Living, 2 July 2023 They may be stuffed with butter, cheese or ham and then breaded, like chicken Kiev or chicken cordon bleu. Jen Christensen, CNN, 25 Apr. 2023 This cooling time will help the layers of breading ingredients solidify and adhere better after the chicken cooks. Lisa Cericola, Southern Living, 12 June 2023 Some recipes call for battering or breading each patty before frying them. Daniela Galarza, Washington Post, 1 June 2023 The unit comes ready assembled, toasts bread the way a panini maker would with nice grill marks, and produces very little smoke. Kat De Naoum, Better Homes & Gardens, 24 May 2023 Dave's Hot Chicken is known for tenders that are brined, then breaded, fried and spiced. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 30 Apr. 2023 He was approached by someone to start making cheese curds in bulk and freezing them to be battered and breaded for the appetizer industry. Kristine M. Kierzek, Journal Sentinel, 8 May 2023 See More

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 21 Sep. 2023.

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

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