But honesty don't get you bread or bacon, not in this world!

And so to-night I am going to spend them, not prudently on bread, but prodigally on beer.

She tried to talk to Mr. Brailsford when he handed her the tea and bread and butter.

You know you have but cast your bread upon the waters—so no more of that!

The Son of God forgive us, Nora, we're after forgetting his bit of bread.

If it had been a loaf of bread he thought it would be more consistent.

It is as though I had asked for a crumb of bread, and he gave me the entire loaf.

There may be a second layer of bread on top of the meat if desired.

The lightness of the bread can easily be scored when the bread is cut.

Fig. 14 illustrates a loaf of bread that has risen too much.


Old English bread "bit, crumb, morsel; bread," cognate with Old Norse brauð, Danish brød, Old Frisian brad, Middle Dutch brot, Dutch brood, German Brot. According to one theory [Watkins, etc.] from Proto-Germanic *brautham, which would be from the root of brew (v.) and refer to the leavening.

But OED argues at some length for the basic sense being not "cooked food" but "piece of food," and the Old English word deriving from a Proto-Germanic *braudsmon- "fragments, bits" (cf. Old High German brosma "crumb," Old English breotan "to break in pieces") and being related to the root of break (v.). It cites Slovenian kruh "bread," literally "a piece."

Either way, by c.1200 it had replaced the usual Old English word for "bread," which was hlaf (see loaf (n.)). Slang meaning "money" dates from 1940s, but cf. breadwinner. Bread-and-butter in the figurative sense of "basic needs" is from 1732. Bread and circuses (1914) is from Latin, in reference to food and entertainment provided by governments to keep the populace happy. "Duas tantum res anxius optat, Panem et circenses" [Juvenal, Sat. x.80].


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.