sour·​dough ˈsau̇(-ə)r-ˌdō How to pronounce sourdough (audio)
 sense 1 is also  -ˈdō
: a leaven consisting of dough in which fermentation is active
[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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Panificio Cuti, run by baker Pina Olivetti, has been serving traditional Calabrian bread — a sourdough yeast bread called pane de cuti — since 1985. Janelle Davis, CNN, 9 Oct. 2022 Other recipes, like beef Bourguignon, sourdough bread, and blueberry galette, can easily be prepared on an outdoor heat source like a gas or pellet grill, or indoors as a warming meal post-adventure. Hannah Selinger, Outside Online, 30 Sep. 2022 The waitress brings bread, a whole sourdough loaf, says, Darling. Zeina Hashem Beck, The Atlantic, 6 Mar. 2022 Days before Christmas last year, Phil Levy was baking a sourdough loaf for his wife when their electric oven went kaput. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, 17 Dec. 2021 My package included tender and moist snickerdoodle cookies and four brioche hamburger buns in addition to the sourdough loaf. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 16 Nov. 2021 What to order: Pepperoni pizza, pasta of the day, Caesar salad, sourdough loaf. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Nov. 2021 My first sourdough loaf, at left, compared to one of my more recent breads. Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2020 Bake those sourdough loaves, mix that cupcake batter, or add an attachment to spiral vegetables, make sausage, pasta, shred cheese, and so much more. Ysolt Usigan, Woman's Day, 15 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near sourdough

Cite this Entry

“Sourdough.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



sour·​dough ˈsau̇(ə)r-ˌdō How to pronounce sourdough (audio)
: a dough in which fermentation is active and which is used to start fermentation in other dough (as in making bread)
: an old-time prospector in Alaska or northwestern Canada
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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