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  1. a slice of sweet raised bread dried and baked again in the oven; zwieback.
  2. light, soft, sweetened biscuit.

Origin of rusk

1585–95; alteration Spanish or Portuguese rosca twist of bread, literally, screw


  1. (David) Dean,1909–94, U.S. statesman: secretary of state 1961–69.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rusk

Historical Examples

  • The yeast, &c., in the rusk will cause it to puff up very light.

    Miss Leslie's Lady's New Receipt-Book

    Eliza Leslie

  • The little girl knew Maslova, and when she saw her face and the rusk she let her take her.


    Leo Tolstoy

  • He was drinking a cup of thick, syrupy coffee, and soaking a rusk in it.

    The Golden Silence

    C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

  • Mrs. Rusk was fond of assuring me that Madame 'did not like a bone in my skin.'

    Uncle Silas

    J. S. LeFanu

  • Shortly after I heard his man, Ridley, talking with Mrs. Rusk in the gallery.

    Uncle Silas

    J. S. LeFanu

British Dictionary definitions for rusk


  1. a light bread dough, sweet or plain, baked twice until it is brown, hard, and crisp: often given to babies

Word Origin

C16: from Spanish or Portuguese rosca screw, bread shaped in a twist, of unknown origin


  1. (David) Dean . 1909–94, US statesman: secretary of state (1961–69). He defended US military involvement in Vietnam and opposed recognition of communist China
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

Word Origin and History for rusk


"light, crisp bits of bread or biscuit," 1590s, from Spanish or Portuguese rosca "roll, twist of bread," literally "coil, anything round and spiral," of unknown origin, perhaps from a pre-Latin Iberian word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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