breadbasket

noun

bread·​bas·​ket ˈbred-ˌba-skət How to pronounce breadbasket (audio)
1
slang : stomach
2
: a major cereal-producing region

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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 Children Among Dozens Killed: Videos show paramilitaries opening fire on the village in what had been Sudan’s breadbasket region, causing the latest mass civilian casualties in a brutal war. Declan Walsh Ivor Prickett, New York Times, 5 June 2024 On top of this, in November, the RSF overran the breadbasket region of El Gezira, south of the capital, ransacking farms, food mills, and the region’s agricultural university. Alex De Waal, Foreign Affairs, 17 June 2024 Fields have become battlegrounds in the country’s breadbasket. Declan Walsh Ivor Prickett, New York Times, 5 June 2024 Here was the bottomless breadbasket of ideas, the inexhaustible canon of American chain food, I.P. surviving in a blur of memory and marketing, that could be excavated and remade forever. Tejal Rao, New York Times, 12 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for breadbasket 

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

Word History

First Known Use

1753, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of breadbasket was in 1753

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Cite this Entry

“Breadbasket.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breadbasket. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

breadbasket

noun
bread·​bas·​ket ˈbred-ˌbas-kət How to pronounce breadbasket (audio)
1
: a major cereal-producing region
2
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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