breadbasket

noun
bread·​bas·​ket | \ ˈbred-ˌba-skət How to pronounce breadbasket (audio) \

Definition of breadbasket

1 slang : stomach
2 : a major cereal-producing region

Synonyms for breadbasket

Synonyms

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Breadbasket has been used as slang in English since at least the mid-1700s. (It has been used even longer to mean literally a basket for holding bread.) It can refer to the stomach as an actual digestive organ ("his breadbasket rumbled with hunger"), but these days it's more commonly applied to the general stomach area ("rested her hands on her breadbasket"). No one is quite sure of the exact origins of the use, but it’s likely that there’s some connection between the basket used to hold bread and the basket where the bread ends up after a person eats it. Breadbasket has also come to refer to an area that supplies an important amount of grain ("the breadbasket of the country").

Examples of breadbasket in a Sentence

the breadbasket of the world The area is becoming the nation's breadbasket.
Recent Examples on the Web Most crops will have to move a full 10 degrees towards the poles, transforming northern latitudes into the new breadbasket, while places like the once rich Amazon become barren. Elizabeth Fernandez, Forbes, 21 Oct. 2021 The discovery of these weather conditions led the Romans to convert much of modern-day Jordan and the Levant – stretching through western Syria and Lebanon – into the breadbasket for their empire 2,000 years ago. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 4 Oct. 2021 African countries are undeniably blessed with friendlier climates and conducive economic conditions to be a breadbasket for the cannabis industry, much like Zimbabwe was for Tobacco, Kenya for flowers, and Ethiopia for coffee. Yaw Okyere Thompson, Quartz, 22 Oct. 2021 France is the European Union’s main breadbasket, accounting for a fifth of all agricultural output in the 27-country bloc. New York Times, 7 Oct. 2021 In the wake of this fiasco, states in the breadbasket region began to fight back against repair monopolies. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 7 Oct. 2021 About 450,000 acres of crops were wiped out and thousands of pigs and other livestock killed in surrounding farmland in the region known as China’s breadbasket, adding to total economic damages estimated at more than $10 billion. Seth Borenstein, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Aug. 2021 The delicious, versatile food can be found in nearly every home in Western culture, yet few know about the thousands of years of history behind their humble breadbasket. Megan Marples, CNN, 14 Sep. 2021 About 450,000 acres of crops were wiped out and thousands of pigs and other livestock killed in surrounding farmland in the region known as China’s breadbasket, adding to total economic damages estimated at more than $10 billion. Seth Borenstein, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breadbasket.' 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 breadbasket

1753, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of breadbasket was in 1753

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Dictionary Entries Near breadbasket

bread and circuses

breadbasket

breadboard

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Last Updated

26 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Breadbasket.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breadbasket. Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for breadbasket

breadbasket

noun

English Language Learners Definition of breadbasket

: a region that provides large amounts of food

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