- plural of loaf1.
- 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.
- the rounded head of a cabbage, lettuce, etc.
- Slang: Older Use.head or brains: Use your loaf.
Origin of loaf1
Examples from the Web for loaves
In them days, you could get two loaves of bread for a nickel.Stanley Booth on the Life and Hard Times of Blues Genius Furry Lewis
June 7, 2014
Bake for an hour or more, according to the size of the loaves.
When the loaves have risen sufficiently, bake for about 50 minutes.
Knead the dough, let it rise again, and form it into loaves.
Charmides waited to see him put the loaves into the hot cave.Buried Cities, Part 2
Which of you shall have a friend at midnight, and shall say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves?The Ministry of Intercession
- the plural of loaf 1
- a shaped mass of baked bread
- any shaped or moulded mass of food, such as cooked meat
- slang the head; senseuse your loaf!
- (intr) to loiter or lounge around in an idle way
- (tr foll by away) to spend (time) idlyhe loafed away his life
Word Origin and History for loaves
late 13c., from Old English hlaf "portion of bread baked in a mass of definite form," from Proto-Germanic *khlaibuz (cf. Old Norse hleifr, Swedish lev, Old Frisian hlef, Old High German hleib, German Laib, Gothic hlaifs "bread, loaf"), of uncertain origin, perhaps connected to Old English hlifian "to raise higher, tower," on the notion of the bread rising as it bakes, but it is unclear whether "loaf" or "bread" is the original sense. Finnish leipä, Old Church Slavonic chlebu, Lithuanian klepas probably are Germanic loan words. Meaning "chopped meat shaped like a bread loaf" is attested from 1787.
1835, American English, back-formation from loafer (1830), which often is regarded as a variant of land loper (1795), a partial loan-translation of German Landläufer "vagabond," from Land "land" + Läufer "runner," from laufen "to run" (see leap). But OED finds this connection "not very probable." Related: Loafed; loafing.
Idioms and Phrases with loaves
see half a loaf is better than none.