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[pret-suh l] /ˈprɛt səl/
a crisp, dry biscuit, usually in the form of a knot or stick, salted on the outside.
a larger version of this, made of soft, chewy bread dough.
Origin of pretzel
1815-25, Americanism; < German Pretzel, variant of Bretzel; Old High German brizzila < Medieval Latin bracellus bracelet Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pretzel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was gettin' himself as twisted as a pretzel, when Old Hickory breaks in.

    Torchy Sewell Ford
  • That's how I got to the car, and was warmly greeted by pretzel.

    Motor Matt's Mystery Stanley R. Matthews
  • "Don't forget to leave my stuff where I told you, pretzel," he called.

    Motor Matt's Mystery Stanley R. Matthews
  • Jo opened the bag, fished out a pretzel and began to nibble it.

    The Four Corners Abroad Amy Ella Blanchard
  • You giants must know that you haven't the chance of a pretzel at a Dutch wedding.

    The Gray Mask

    Wadsworth Camp
British Dictionary definitions for pretzel


a brittle savoury biscuit, in the form of a knot or stick, glazed and salted on the outside, eaten esp in Germany and the US
Word Origin
C19: from German, from Old High German brezitella; perhaps related to Medieval Latin bracellus bracelet, from Latin bracchium arm
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 pretzel

1851, from German Prezel, also Brezel, from Middle High German brezel, prezel, from Old High German brezitella, brecedela, from Medieval Latin *brachitella, presumably a kind of biscuit baked in the shape of folded arms (cf. Italian bracciatella, Old Provençal brassadel), diminutive of Latin bracchiatus "with branches, with arms," from bracchium "arm" (see brace (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for pretzel



A French horn (1936+ Musicians)

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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