bread·​line | \ ˈbred-ˌlīn How to pronounce breadline (audio) \

Definition of breadline

: a line of people waiting to receive free food

Examples of breadline in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Too often during bankruptcy proceedings, remediation costs are shunted to the back of the breadline after creditors, executives, employees, and vendors take their share of the company’s assets. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, 12 Apr. 2021 Police officers on bikes circled while volunteers finished placing the last barricades that would split the modern day breadline into two lanes. Nic Garcia, Dallas News, 23 July 2020 The loneliness of a single mother on the breadline, for example, is very different to that of an elderly man whose peers have died, or a teenager who is connected online but lacks offline friendships. Fay Bound Alberti, Quartz, 25 Nov. 2019 All this work and sweat kept him on the breadline for some years. Douglas Murray, National Review, 11 July 2019 Think breadlines and grinding poverty in the cities and dust bowls in the agricultural areas. Michael Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, 26 June 2018 Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Kevin Baker, The New Republic, 17 May 2018 The Czech Republic has enough of its own problems, people living on the breadline, single mothers. David Frum, The Atlantic, 23 Oct. 2017 If Bill Clinton took us back to the days of Hoovervilles and breadlines, Paul Ryan and his fellow conservatives want to return us to Dickensian England. Bryce Covert, New Republic, 21 Sep. 2017

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

1894, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for breadline

Time Traveler

The first known use of breadline was in 1894

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Cite this Entry

“Breadline.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for breadline



English Language Learners Definition of breadline

chiefly US : a line of people who are waiting to receive free food
British : the level of income at which someone is considered poor


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