zwieback

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noun zwie·back \ˈswē-ˌbak, ˈswī-, ˈzwē-, ˈzwī-, -ˌbäk\

Definition of zwieback

  1. :  a usually sweetened bread enriched with eggs that is baked and then sliced and toasted until dry and crisp

zwieback was our Word of the Day on 02/24/2016. Hear the podcast!

Crunch on the History of zwieback

In ages past, keeping food fresh for any length of time required a lot of ingenuity, especially when one needed to carry comestibles on a long journey. One of the solutions people came up with for keeping bread edible for traveling was to bake it twice, thereby drying it and slowing the spoiling process. The etymology of zwieback reflects this baker's trick; it was borrowed from a German word that literally means "twice baked." Nowadays, zwieback is not just used as a foodstuff—the texture of the dried bread makes zwieback a suitable teething device for infants. Incidentally, other twice-baked goods whose origins reflect that fact include biscuit and biscotti, both of which come from phrases meaning "twice-cooked bread."

Origin and Etymology of zwieback

German, literally, twice baked, from zwie- twice (from Old High German zwi-) + backen to bake, from Old High German bahhan — more at twi-, bake


ZWIEBACK Defined for English Language Learners

zwieback

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noun

Definition of zwieback for English Language Learners

  • : a dry, hard bread that is eaten especially by young children


ZWIEBACK Defined for Kids

zwieback

play
noun zwie·back \ˈswē-ˌbak, ˈswī-\

Definition of zwieback for Students

  1. :  a usually sweetened bread made with eggs that is baked and then sliced and toasted until dry and crisp

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