bread line


a group of needy persons waiting in line for free food to be distributed by a government agency or charitable organization.


Origin of bread line

First recorded in 1825–35 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for breadline

  • It seemed brutal to be wading into the bill of fare with poor old Bicky headed for the breadline.

    My Man Jeeves|P. G. Wodehouse

British Dictionary definitions for breadline


/ (ˈbrɛdˌlaɪn) /


a queue of people waiting for free food given out by a government agency or a charity organization
on the breadline impoverished; living at subsistence level
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