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 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, "The problem with medicalizing loneliness," 25 Nov. 2019 All this work and sweat kept him on the breadline for some years. Douglas Murray, National Review, "Michael Tippett’s ‘Timeless Music in Time’," 11 July 2019 Think breadlines and grinding poverty in the cities and dust bowls in the agricultural areas. Michael Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, "Think the U.S. is at odds? Consider Greece.," 26 June 2018 Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Kevin Baker, The New Republic, "Why America needs truth and reconciliation after Trump," 17 May 2018 The Czech Republic has enough of its own problems, people living on the breadline, single mothers. David Frum, The Atlantic, "The New Test to Democracy in the Czech Republic," 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, "Deadbeat Democrats," 21 Sep. 2017 Their lavish affairs (the bill for Barbara’s was $80,000) were singled out as examples of wildly inappropriate spending during the grim period of breadlines and massive unemployment. Stephanie Mansfield, Town & Country, "Inside the World's Richest Rivalry: Doris Duke and Barbara Hutton," 26 Apr. 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

1900, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of breadline was in 1900

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Cite this Entry

“Breadline.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce breadline (audio)

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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