[ bred ]
See synonyms for bread on
  1. a kind of food made of flour or meal that has been mixed with milk or water, made into a dough or batter, with or without yeast or other leavening agent, and baked.

  2. food or sustenance; livelihood: to earn one's bread.

  1. Slang. money.

  2. Ecclesiastical. the wafer or bread used in a Eucharistic service.

verb (used with object)
  1. Cooking. to cover with breadcrumbs or meal.

Idioms about bread

  1. break bread,

    • to eat a meal, especially in companionable association with others.

    • to distribute or participate in Communion.

  2. cast one's bread upon the waters, to act generously or charitably with no thought of personal gain.

  1. know which side one's bread is buttered on, to be aware of those things that are to one's own advantage.

  2. take the bread out of someone's mouth, to deprive someone of livelihood.

Origin of bread

before 950; 1950–55 for def. 3; Middle English breed,Old English brēad fragment, morsel, bread; cognate with German Brot

Other words from bread

  • breadless, adjective
  • bread·less·ness, noun
  • un·bread·ed, adjective

Words that may be confused with bread

Words Nearby bread Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use bread in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bread


/ (brɛd) /

  1. a food made from a dough of flour or meal mixed with water or milk, usually raised with yeast or baking powder and then baked

  2. necessary food; nourishment: give us our daily bread

  1. a slang word for money

  2. Christianity a small loaf, piece of bread, or wafer of unleavened bread used in the Eucharist

  3. bread and circuses something offered as a means of distracting attention from a problem or grievance

  4. break bread See break (def. 46)

  5. cast one's bread upon the waters to do good without expectation of advantage or return

  6. to know which side one's bread is buttered to know what to do in order to keep one's advantages

  7. take the bread out of someone's mouth to deprive someone of a livelihood

  1. (tr) to cover with breadcrumbs before cooking: breaded veal

Origin of bread

Old English brēad; related to Old Norse braud, Old Frisian brād, Old High German brōt

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with bread


In addition to the idioms beginning with bread

  • bread and butter

also see:

  • break bread
  • greatest thing since sliced bread
  • know which side of bread is buttered
  • take the bread out of someone's mouth

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.