[ lohf ]
See synonyms for loaf on Thesaurus.com
noun,plural loaves [lohvz]. /loʊvz/.
  1. a portion of bread or cake baked in a shaped or molded mass, usually oblong with a rounded top: I try to keep a loaf of sliced bread in the freezer.

  2. a shaped or molded mass of food, as of ground meat or vegetables: The loaf is made with lentils and vegetables, and you can see the colorful bits of bell peppers speckled through it.

  1. British.

    • the rounded head of a cabbage, lettuce, etc.

    • Slang: Older Use. head or brains: Use your loaf.

Origin of loaf

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

Other definitions for loaf (2 of 2)

[ lohf ]

verb (used without object)
  1. to idle away time: He figured the mall was as good a place as any for loafing.

  2. to lounge or saunter lazily and idly: We loafed for hours along the water's edge.

verb (used with object)
  1. to pass idly (usually followed by away): to loaf one's life away.

Origin of loaf

An Americanism first recorded in 1825–35; back formation from loafer

synonym study For loaf

1, 3. See lounge.

Other words for loaf

Other words from loaf

  • un·loaf·ing, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use loaf in a sentence

  • I went to the circus and loafed around the back side till the watchman went by, and then dived in under the tent.

    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Complete | Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • This box was directly over a wooden canopy where the mahouts loafed between fights.

    The Adventures of Kathlyn | Harold MacGrath
  • Most of us pretended to look for them and loafed about the neighbouring slums.

    A Tramp's Notebook | Morley Roberts
  • His fingers loafed over the leaves, as he listened to the persistent drive of the storm.

    Mountain | Clement Wood
  • He cocked up the other ear at sound of voices on the porch and loafed up and sat down on the edge of the boarding.

    Blow The Man Down | Holman Day

British Dictionary definitions for loaf (1 of 2)


/ (ləʊf) /

nounplural loaves (ləʊvz)
  1. a shaped mass of baked bread

  2. any shaped or moulded mass of food, such as cooked meat

  1. slang the head; sense: use your loaf!

Origin of loaf

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

British Dictionary definitions for loaf (2 of 2)


/ (ləʊf) /

  1. (intr) to loiter or lounge around in an idle way

  2. (tr foll by away) to spend (time) idly: he loafed away his life

Origin of 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

Other 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.