leav·​en·​ing | \ ˈlev-niŋ How to pronounce leavening (audio) , ˈle-və- \

Definition of leavening

: a leavening agent : leaven

Examples of leavening in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many use minuscule quantities of yeast; others abandon commercial yeast altogether in favor of the natural leavening in sourdough starters. New York Times, "Chasing the Perfect Slice, Bread and Salt in Jersey City Looks to Rome," 8 Oct. 2019 The wafers have no leavening, and no eggs or sugar. Sheryl Julian, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipe: Many southern cooks make spicy slice-and-bake cheese wafers for all occasions," 16 Apr. 2018 To make fluffy, light matzo balls, some cooks add a bit of kosher-for-Passover baking powder to the matzo meal, insisting that this leavening is perfectly OK to use during the holiday. Karoline Boehm Goodnick, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipe: How to make fluffy, light matzo balls," 19 Mar. 2018 One of the most popular types of bread is also one of the oldest — sourdough, or bread that's made with natural leavening rather than commercial yeast. Amy Halloran, latimes.com, "Love good bread? Check out recommended baking books and bread-making classes from L.A. bakers," 5 Mar. 2018 Nutritional yeast is grown on molasses, and after harvesting, the washing and drying process deactivates the leavening properties. Claire Perez, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Use nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan cheese," 26 Jan. 2018 Yet, for all that, a bit of unintentional leavening did occur. Guy Trebay, New York Times, "Milan Is Still Making It New," 17 Jan. 2018 Nevertheless, Iran’s mostly anti-status quo approach to the Middle East has been tempered by an important leavening of defensive motives since the Arab Spring of 2011. Kenneth M. Pollack, National Review, "Facing the Iranian Challenge in the Middle East," 9 Oct. 2017 But in latter-day world seemingly bent on bitterness, Rockwell's work is welcome leavening. Plain Dealer Guest Writer, cleveland.com, "Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., offers art with a side of nostalgia (photos)," 18 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'leavening.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of leavening

1626, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about leavening

Time Traveler for leavening

Time Traveler

The first known use of leavening was in 1626

See more words from the same year

Statistics for leavening

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Leavening.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leavening. Accessed 25 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on leavening

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about leavening

Comments on leavening

What made you want to look up leavening? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


dull or mediocre

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!