• synonyms


[ bred-win-er ]
/ ˈbrɛdˌwɪn ər /


a person who earns a livelihood, especially one who also supports dependents.


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Nearby words

breadstick, breadsticks, breadstuff, breadth, breadthways, breadwinner, break, break a leg, break and entry, break away, break bread

Origin of breadwinner

First recorded in 1810–20; bread + winner
Related formsbread·win·ning, noun, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bread-winning

British Dictionary definitions for bread-winning


/ (ˈbrɛdˌwɪnə) /


a person supporting a family with his or her earnings
Derived Formsbreadwinning, noun, adjective
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 bread-winning



also bread-winner, "one who supplies a living for others, especially a family," 1821, from the noun bread (probably in a literal sense) + winner, from win (v.) in its sense of "struggle for, work at." Attested slightly earlier (1818) in sense "skill or art by which one makes a living." Not too far removed from the image at the root of lord (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper