loaves and fishes

plural noun

Definition of loaves and fishes

: material gain concentrating on how to get loaves and fishes, the schools … make out of our youngsters precisely what their parents wish them to become— B. I. Bell

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for loaves and fishes

so called from the 5 barley loaves and 2 fishes with which Jesus miraculously fed a multitude of 5000 (John 6) that he later reproached for their greater interest in the food than in him (John 6: 26)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on loaves and fishes

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

WORD OF THE DAY

highly pertinent or appropriate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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