hard·​tack ˈhärd-ˌtak How to pronounce hardtack (audio)
plural hardtack or hardtacks
: a saltless hard biscuit, bread, or cracker
: any of several mountain mahoganies (especially Cercocarpus betuloides)

Examples of hardtack in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dinner will be a choice of hardtack or wet hardtack. Al Mullen, The New Yorker, 26 Aug. 2022 Alaskans have been eating some form of hardtack since the area’s colonization in the late 19th century. Teresa Nowakowski, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Mar. 2023 Other resourceful military cookery saw troops toss hardtack into soups. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 14 Feb. 2022 Getting your hands on packets of hardtack is just a click away. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 14 Feb. 2022 Typically made from salt, flour and water, Hard Bread—also known as hardtack, teeth dullers or jawbreakers—was often soaked in water before being served. Leo Deluca, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 May 2021 Biscuits went by unappetizing names such as hardtack, rusks and ship’s biscuits, their durability their main asset. Washington Post, 19 Mar. 2020 Avocado hardtack rations meager and chicory covfefe drunk cold to avoid microwave surveillance. Don Sweeney, sacbee, 3 July 2018 Known as hardtack, such biscuits were prized for their long shelf lives, making them a vital source of sustenance for sailors far from shore. The Economist, 3 Feb. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hardtack.' 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

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hardtack was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near hardtack

Cite this Entry

“Hardtack.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hardtack. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


hard·​tack -ˌtak How to pronounce hardtack (audio)
: a hard biscuit or bread made of flour and water without salt
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