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  1. a sandwich consisting of a cooked patty of ground or chopped beef, usually in a roll or bun, variously garnished.
  2. ground or chopped beef.
  3. Also called Hamburg steak. a patty of ground or chopped beef, seasoned and fried or broiled.
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Also ham·burg [ham-burg] /ˈhæm bɜrg/.

Origin of hamburger

1885–90; short for Hamburger steak; see -er1
Also called beefburger.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

burger, beefburger, cheeseburger

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British Dictionary definitions for hamburger



  1. a flat fried cake of minced beef, often served in a bread rollAlso called: Hamburger steak, beefburger
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Word Origin

C20: shortened from Hamburger steak (that is, steak in the fashion of Hamburg)
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 hamburger


1610s, "native of Hamburg;" the meat product so called from 1884, hamburg steak, named for the German city of Hamburg, though no certain connection has ever been put forth, and there may not be one unless it be that Hamburg was a major port of departure for German immigrants to United States. Meaning "a sandwich consisting of a bun and a patty of grilled hamburger meat" attested by 1912. Shortened form burger attested from 1939; beefburger was attempted 1940, in an attempt to make the main ingredient more explicit, after the -burger had taken on a life of its own as a suffix (cf. cheeseburger, first attested 1938).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper