hard·​tack | \ ˈhärd-ˌtak How to pronounce hardtack (audio) \
plural hardtack or hardtacks

Definition of hardtack

1 : a saltless hard biscuit, bread, or cracker
2 : any of several mountain mahoganies (especially Cercocarpus betuloides)

Examples of hardtack in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Biscuits went by unappetizing names such as hardtack, rusks and ship’s biscuits, their durability their main asset. Washington Post, "The 10 best breads in the world," 19 Mar. 2020 Avocado hardtack rations meager and chicory covfefe drunk cold to avoid microwave surveillance. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Letters from the 'front' on Twitter mock prediction of second Civil War on July 4," 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, "Why sub-zero interest rates are neither unfair nor unnatural," 3 Feb. 2018 People used to rely on food that could last, like pemmican and hardtack, Spam and Twinkies. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "The Novel Taste of Old Food," 4 Oct. 2017 Tourists can taste hardtack, the dry bread soldiers ate during the war. Jonathan Hunley, Washington Post, "Civil War hospital at Ben Lomond adds realistic audio to multisensory experience," 28 May 2017 Among its lively illustrations is an old ad featuring a wooden box in the Statue of Liberty’s hand, raining what look like matzos but are actually the hardtack that fed our armies in numerous wars. Corby Kummer, New York Times, "Dishing It Out: Why Americans Eat the Way We Do," 6 Jan. 2017

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

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of hardtack was in 1830

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Cite this Entry

“Hardtack.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hardtack. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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