sour·dough | \ˈsau̇(-ə)r-ˌdō, sense 1 is also -ˈdō\

Definition of sourdough 

1 : a leaven consisting of dough in which fermentation is active

2 [ from the use of sourdough for making bread in prospectors' camps ] : a veteran inhabitant and especially an old-time prospector of Alaska or northwestern Canada

Examples of sourdough in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Eventually, humans discovered natural fermentation, and sourdough was born. Kevin Koczwara,, "For decades, Richard Bourdon’s been shaping dough — and the way we view bread," 26 Mar. 2018 The nut-milk butter, served with flaky sea salt and sourdough, was a profoundly convincing substitute for the real thing, as was the macadamia ricotta. Junot Díaz, The New Yorker, "Hyper-Local Greenery (and Beer) at Brooklyn’s Annicka," 27 Apr. 2018 Banksia sells the same crusty K.C. sourdough bread baked by Sasha's Baking Co. Sarah Gish Banksia also sells a variety of breads, from sourdough to wheat, rye and challah. Sarah Gish, kansascity, "5 things to know about Banksia, downtown KC's Australian bakery, with Sunday brunch | The Kansas City Star," 14 May 2018 Home Team: San Francisco Giants (MLB) Opened: 2000 Slam-Dunk: The Crazy Crab’z Sandwich, made with Dungeness crab on toasted and buttered sourdough. Ari Bendersky, WSJ, "The 5 Most Upscale Stadiums for Foodies," 29 May 2018 Like good sourdough bread, the best catfish hunters take pride in their stink bait creations and keep their ingredients secret. Ernie Cowan,, "The cats come out at night," 23 June 2018 My next door bakery Panadería Rosetta for a black tea and a slice of our rye sourdough bread with olive oil and honey. Mosha Lundström Halbert, Vogue, "The Latina Cool Girl’s Guide to Mexico City," 4 June 2018 Start with quality sourdough or whole-grain bread, then drizzle it with avocado oil and grill. Susan Russo,, "Avocado aficionado: Sam the Cooking Guy," 4 June 2018 Jensen tells us how to nurture a sourdough starter, sure, but also how to take a deep breath (start by finding a comfortable space) and host a Sunday night pizza party. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appetit, "The Long-Anticipated New Cookbook from a Teeny Bakery in North Carolina," 14 Feb. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sourdough

Statistics for sourdough

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sourdough

The first known use of sourdough was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sourdough



English Language Learners Definition of sourdough

: a type of dough that is allowed to ferment before it is baked and that has a slightly sour taste

More from Merriam-Webster on sourdough

See words that rhyme with sourdough

Comments on sourdough

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


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!