- a small cake of sweetened or, sometimes, unsweetened dough fried in deep fat, typically shaped like a ring or, when prepared with a filling, a ball.
- anything shaped like a thick ring; an annular object; toroid.
Origin of doughnut
Examples from the Web for donut
So I went home—we only lived about a quarter mile away—and I got on my bicycle and rode back, and he was in the donut shop.Joe Biden: ‘I’ll Kill Your Son’
December 12, 2014
For better or worse, jazz is turning into the music you hear when you drink coffee and munch on a donut or bagel.Jazz (The Music of Coffee and Donuts) Has Respect, But It Needs Love
June 15, 2014
You're not keeping people from buying that donut; you're just making sure they know its calorie "cost".Bloomberg to Cigarette Vendors: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
March 18, 2013
Can I take refuge in the thought that the mash-up of French and American pastry idioms gives this donut some postmodern cred?Mona Lisa of the Coffee Shop
February 5, 2013
But how much do you really have to move in order to burn off the calories in that donut, steak burrito—or even a single apple?21 Shocking Calorie Equations
The Daily Beast
July 29, 2010
- a variant spelling (esp US) of doughnut
esp US donut
- a small cake of sweetened dough, often ring-shaped or spherical with a jam or cream filling, cooked in hot fat
- anything shaped like a ring, such as the reaction vessel of a thermonuclear reactor
- (tr) informal (of Members of Parliament) to surround (a speaker) during the televising of Parliament to give the impression that the chamber is crowded or the speaker is well supported
Word Origin and History for donut
see doughnut. It turns up as an alternate spelling in U.S. as early as 1870 ("Josh Billings"), common from c.1920 in names of bakeries. Halliwell ("Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words," 1847) has donnut "a pancake made of dough instead of batter," which Bartlett (1848) writes "is no doubt the same word" as the American one.
1809, American English, from dough + nut (n.), probably on the notion of being a small round lump (the holes came later, first mentioned c.1861). First recorded by Washington Irving, who described them as "balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog's fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks." Earlier name for it was dough-boy (1680s). Bartlett (1848) meanwhile lists doughnuts and crullers among the types of olycokes, a word he derives from Dutch olikoek, literally "oil-cake," to indicate a cake fried in lard.
The ladies of Augusta, Maine, set in operation and carried out a novel idea, namely, the distribution of over fifty bushels of doughnuts to the Third volunteer regiment of that State. A procession of ladies, headed by music, passed between double lines of troops, who presented arms, and were afterwards drawn up in hollow square to receive from tender and gracious hands the welcome doughnation. [Frazar Kirkland, "Anecdotes of the Rebellion," 1866]
Meaning "a driving in tight circles" is U.S. slang, 1981. Cf. also donut.