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 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 People used to rely on food that could last, like pemmican and hardtack, Spam and Twinkies. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, 4 Oct. 2017 Tourists can taste hardtack, the dry bread soldiers ate during the war. Jonathan Hunley, Washington Post, 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, 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 31 Jul. 2021.

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