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pastrami

[puh-strah-mee]
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noun
  1. a brisket of beef that has been cured in a mixture of garlic, peppercorns, sugar, coriander seeds, etc., then smoked before cooking.
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Origin of pastrami

1935–40; < Yiddish pastrame < Romanian pastramă pressed, cured meat; a Balkanism of uncertain origin (compare Modern Greek pastramâs, Serbo-Croatian pȁstrma), perhaps ultimately < Turkish pastιrma, taken as variant of bastιrma, equivalent to bastιr-, causative stem of bas- press, squeeze + -ma verbal noun suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for pastrami

pastrami

noun
  1. highly seasoned smoked beef, esp prepared from a shoulder cut
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Word Origin

from Yiddish, from Romanian pastramǎ, from pǎstra to preserve
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 pastrami

n.

1940, from Yiddish pastrame, from Rumanian pastrama, probably from Turkish pastrima, variant of basdirma "dried meat," from root *bas- "to press." Another possible origin of the Rumanian word [Barnhart] is Modern Greek pastono "I salt," from classical Greek pastos "sprinkled with salt, salted." Spelling in English with -mi probably from influence of salami.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper