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

Definition of breadbasket

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

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Did You Know?

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 The overthrows from early in the game recalibrated and fell right in the breadbasket for touchdown No. 1 of 4 for Smith. Michael Casagrande |, al, "A few extra observations, notes from Alabama’s 6th win of 2020," 1 Nov. 2020 The opposition Congress Party has taken to the streets in, among other places, Haryana and Punjab, India’s breadbasket. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "Farmers Will Reap the Benefits of Modi’s Reforms," 1 Oct. 2020 These petroglyphs were from a prehistoric time when the climate was much wetter; at one time Libya was called the breadbasket of the Roman Empire. Richard Mason, Arkansas Online, "Warm memories of the Sahara," 23 Aug. 2020 Iowa, which was ravaged by a destructive derecho storm last week, showcased the breadbasket of America. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Eleven most striking DNC virtual roll-call vote backdrops," 18 Aug. 2020 Winston passed the ball to rookie receiver Juwan Johnson, and the ball bounced off Johnson's fingertips, landing in Williams' breadbasket. Amie Just | Staff Writer,, "Saints' Day 1 training camp observations: Andrus Peat absent, center/guard shuffle begins," 17 Aug. 2020 Palestinians see the valley as their future breadbasket., "JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said Tuesday that he would move swiftly to annex nearly a third of the occupied West Bank if voters returned him to power in the election next week, a change that would dramatically reshape the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.," 11 Sep. 2019 For America’s breadbasket, record rainfall in the spring of 2019 resulted in unprecedented planting delays that pushed harvests deeper into autumn, when farmers would normally want to sow winter-wheat seeds. Michael Hirtzer,, "Climate Change Is Coming for Your Oreos," 15 July 2019 Worse, the toxins released by the fungus Fusarium graminearum, a growing problem in the breadbaskets of Europe, North America, and China, remain in grain intended for food. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "How a gene from a grass-living fungus could save wheat crops worldwide," 9 Apr. 2020

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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Last Updated

13 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Breadbasket.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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How to pronounce breadbasket (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of breadbasket

: a region that provides large amounts of food

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