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90s Slang You Should Know


[bred-win-er] /ˈbrɛdˌwɪn ər/
a person who earns a livelihood, especially one who also supports dependents.
Origin of breadwinner
First recorded in 1810-20; bread + winner
Related forms
breadwinning, noun, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for breadwinner
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Relief, it seemed to me, could be brought to the breadwinner by separating from her the girl who works for luxuries.

    The Woman Who Toils Mrs. John Van Vorst and Marie Van Vorst
  • But when was a mere man (and breadwinner) considered at such times?

    The Dew of Their Youth S. R. Crockett
  • The average earnings of the breadwinner of the family were about $165 a year.

    The Spell of Belgium Isabel Anderson
  • Yes, my father was aging fast, I would soon be the only breadwinner here.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • There was a great contrast between the genius and the breadwinner, the half-beast of burden.

    We Philologists, Volume 8 (of 18) Friedrich Nietzsche
British Dictionary definitions for breadwinner


a person supporting a family with his or her earnings
Derived Forms
breadwinning, noun, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for breadwinner

also bread-winner, "one who supplies a living for others, especially a family," 1821, from the noun bread (probably in a literal sense) + winner, from win (v.) in its sense of "struggle for, work at." Attested slightly earlier (1818) in sense "skill or art by which one makes a living." Not too far removed from the image at the root of lord (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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