[ puh-strah-mee ]
/ pəˈstrɑ mi /


a brisket of beef that has been cured in a mixture of garlic, peppercorns, sugar, coriander seeds, etc., then smoked before cooking.

Nearby words

  1. pastorium,
  2. pastorly,
  3. pastorship,
  4. pastose,
  5. pastosity,
  6. pastry,
  7. pastry blender,
  8. pastry brush,
  9. pastry cream,
  10. pastry tube

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

Examples from the Web for pastrami

British Dictionary definitions for pastrami


/ (pəˈstrɑːmɪ) /


highly seasoned smoked beef, esp prepared from a shoulder cut

Word Origin for pastrami

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



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper