• synonyms


[ga-toh, gah-; French gah-toh]
noun, plural gâ·teaux [ga-toh-tohz, gah-; French gah-toh] /gæˈtoʊˈtoʊz, gɑ-; French gɑˈtoʊ/. French Cookery.
  1. a cake, especially a very light sponge cake with a rich icing or filling.
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Origin of gâteau

1835–45; < French; Old French gastel (compare Middle English wastel < Old North French) < Frankish *wastil, perhaps akin to Old English, Old Saxon wist food, nourishment
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gateau

Historical Examples of gateau

  • A gateau is also made of pig's liver; it is therefore rather difficult to define what a "gateau" is.

    The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. VIII, No. 355, October 16, 1886


  • She had had gateau and cherries in a convent-garden once, and had swung among apple-blossoms in an orchard belonging to one.

    Heriot's Choice

    Rosa Nouchette Carey

  • Do you know this most exquisite cake of yours much resembles a gateau aux truffes?

British Dictionary definitions for gateau



noun plural -teaux (-təʊz)
  1. any of various elaborate cakes, usually layered with cream and richly decorated
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Word Origin for gateau

French: cake
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 gateau


1845, from French gâteau "cake," from Old French gastel, from Frankish *wastil "cake," from Proto-Germanic *was-tilaz, from PIE *wes- "to eat, consume."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper