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[brek-fuh st] /ˈbrɛk fəst/
the first meal of the day; morning meal:
A hearty breakfast was served at 7 a.m.
the food eaten at the first meal of the day:
a breakfast of bacon and eggs.
verb (used without object)
to eat breakfast:
He breakfasted on bacon and eggs.
verb (used with object)
to supply with breakfast:
We breakfasted the author in the finest restaurant.
Origin of breakfast
late Middle English
First recorded in 1425-75, breakfast is from the late Middle English word brekfast. See break, fast2
Related forms
breakfaster, noun
breakfastless, adjective
postbreakfast, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for breakfast
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • On a morning late in May Mrs. Bines and her daughter were at breakfast.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • You can't get them too cold for Perce at breakfast, nowadays.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • You began to look bad as soon as you left off your breakfast.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • The Bineses, with the exception of Psyche, were at breakfast a week later.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Why, we wasted enough from breakfast to feed a small family.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
British Dictionary definitions for breakfast


  1. the first meal of the day
  2. (as modifier): breakfast cereal, a breakfast room
the food at this meal
(in the Caribbean) a midday meal
to eat or supply with breakfast
Derived Forms
breakfaster, noun
Word Origin
C15: from break + fast²
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 breakfast

mid-15c., from break (v.) + fast (n.). The verb is recorded from 1670s. Related: Breakfasted; breakfasting.

Spanish almuerzo "lunch," but formerly and still locally "breakfast," is from Latin admorsus, past participle of admordere "to bite into," from ad- "to" + mordere "to bite." In common with almuerzo, words for "breakfast" tend over time to shift in meaning toward "lunch;" cf. French déjeuner "breakfast," later "lunch" (equivalent of Spanish desayuno "breakfast"), both from Vulgar Latin *disieiunare "to breakfast," from Latin dis- + ieiunare, jejunare "fast" (see jejune; also cf. dine). German Frühstück is from Middle High German vruostücke, literally "early bit." Old English had morgenmete "morning meal."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for breakfast
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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