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[shawrt-bred] /ˈʃɔrtˌbrɛd/
a butter cookie commonly made in thick, pie-shaped wheels or rolled and cut in fancy shapes.
Origin of shortbread
First recorded in 1795-1805; short + bread Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for shortbread
Historical Examples
  • I find your Christmas present (just arrived) to be a haggis and shortbread!

  • Who should it be but Uncle Clarke, with a big cake of shortbread in his arms!

    Our Little Scotch Cousin

    Blanche McManus
  • There were none for me, but one and a fine Scotch shortbread for the wounded Fife man in the bed next to mine.

    A Yeoman's Letters

    P. T. Ross
  • These shortbread things are fussing about hither and thither across the field, and now and then an amœba comes crawling into view.

  • This was right; the dog paid his halfpenny, took his shortbread, and ate it with decorous satisfaction.

  • As a result of the "consultation," Mary Joe cut the shortbread and added a dish of preserves to the bill of fare.

    Anne Of Avonlea Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • The Disney exec made some noises and ate some shortbread, peered at the chalk-board menu and ordered some Thai iced tea.


    Cory Doctorow
  • Mother made tea and gave them shortbread and was so a-flutter herself that she broke one of her company dishes.

  • Or the shortbread—now there was something like shortbread, made after a recipe learned in Brabant!

    The Dew of Their Youth S. R. Crockett
  • He soon scorned crocus bulbs and even bread-crumbs, insisting on a diet of shortbread cake and nuts.

    The Strange Story Book Mrs. Andrew Lang
British Dictionary definitions for shortbread


a rich crumbly biscuit made from dough with a large proportion of butter
Word Origin
C19: from short (in the sense: crumbly)
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 shortbread

also short-bread, 1755, from short (see shortening) + bread (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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