pret·​zel ˈpret-səl How to pronounce pretzel (audio)
: a brittle or chewy glazed usually salted slender bread often shaped like a loose knot

Examples of pretzel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Meet the Pretzel Cheddar Club Sandwich: a boneless chicken breast (fried, grilled, or spicy) served on a warm pretzel bun with lettuce, tomato, soft seasoned cheddar cheese, crispy strips of applewood smoked bacon, and a Creamy Dijon Mustard Sauce on the side. Abigail Wilt, Southern Living, 4 Apr. 2024 The full-service restaurant serves all sorts of treats, including Silver Dollar City's famous pretzel dog. USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2024 Be sure to check out the rest of SELF's 2024 Pantry Award winners: Find our favorite elevated pantry staples here, and the most snackable chips, crackers, bars, pretzels, and popcorn here. Sara Coughlin, SELF, 13 Mar. 2024 The pretzels come with a choice of horseradish mustard or a cheese sauce for dipping. The Indianapolis Star, 29 Feb. 2024 The new chocolate covered mini pretzels will hit TJ’s shelves this summer. Jenna Anderson, Sunset Magazine, 29 Feb. 2024 Popcorn, pickles, pretzels, mixed nuts, potato chips, olives and toasted corn kernels. Rachel Bernhard, Journal Sentinel, 27 Mar. 2024 For larger pieces, add a handful of pretzels or chips to a resealable bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Micah A Leal, Southern Living, 25 Mar. 2024 Pub pretzel scoop, made with soft pretzel bites, pretzel twists, beer cheese, bacon, sour cream and green onion. Endia Fontanez, The Arizona Republic, 23 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pretzel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


German Brezel, ultimately from Latin brachiatus having branches like arms, from brachium arm — more at brace entry 2

First Known Use

1831, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pretzel was in 1831

Dictionary Entries Near pretzel

Cite this Entry

“Pretzel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


pret·​zel ˈpret-səl How to pronounce pretzel (audio)
: a brown cracker that is salted and usually hard and shaped like a loose knot

from German Brezel "pretzel," derived from Latin brachiatus (adjective) "having branches like arms," from brachium, "arm" — related to brace entry 2

Word Origin
Pretzels were probably first made in the U.S. during the 19th century by immigrants from Germany. The English word pretzel comes from the German Brezel. The familiar knot-shaped pretzel has been known in Germanic countries for centuries. Its German name comes from the Latin brachiatus, which means "having branches like arms." The pretzel likely got its name because its knot shape looks something like a pair of folded arms.

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