[ lohf ]
/ loʊf /

noun, plural loaves [lohvz] /loʊvz/.

a portion of bread or cake baked in a mass, usually oblong with a rounded top.
a shaped or molded mass of food, as of sugar or chopped meat: a veal loaf.
  1. the rounded head of a cabbage, lettuce, etc.
  2. Slang: Older Use. head or brains: Use your loaf.

Nearby words

  1. loads,
  2. loadspace,
  3. loadstar,
  4. loadstone,
  5. loady,
  6. loaf bread,
  7. loaf pan,
  8. loaf sugar,
  9. loafer,
  10. loaiasis

Origin of loaf

before 950; Middle English lo(o)f, Old English hlāf loaf, bread; cognate with German Laib, Old Norse hleifr, Gothic hlaifs


[ lohf ]
/ loʊf /

verb (used without object)

to idle away time: He figured the mall was as good a place as any for loafing.
to lounge or saunter lazily and idly: We loafed for hours along the water's edge.

verb (used with object)

to pass idly (usually followed by away): to loaf one's life away.

Origin of loaf

1825–35, Americanism; back formation from loafer

Related formsun·loaf·ing, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for loaf

British Dictionary definitions for loaf


/ (ləʊf) /

noun plural loaves (ləʊvz)

a shaped mass of baked bread
any shaped or moulded mass of food, such as cooked meat
slang the head; senseuse your loaf!

Word Origin for loaf

Old English hlāf; related to Old High German hleib bread, Old Norse hleifr, Latin libum cake


(intr) to loiter or lounge around in an idle way
(tr foll by away) to spend (time) idlyhe loafed away his life

Word Origin for loaf

C19: perhaps back formation from loafer

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 loaf
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with loaf


see half a loaf is better than none.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.