[ puhm-per-nik-uhl ]

  1. a coarse, dark, slightly sour bread made of unbolted rye.

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Origin of pumpernickel

First recorded in 1750–60; from German Pumpernickel, originally a contemptuous name for anyone considered disagreeable, equivalent to pumper(n) “to break wind” + Nickel, diminutive or pet name of Nikolaus “Nicholas” (cf. nickel); presumably applied to the bread from its effect on the digestive system

Words Nearby pumpernickel

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How to use pumpernickel in a sentence

  • They produced pumpernickel from one cupboard, and rye-bread and sausage from another, and all began to talk again and eat.

    Three More John Silence Stories | Algernon Blackwood
  • From a German bake shop get the bread, either "Kummel," (which is rye with caraway seeds), or pumpernickel.

    Suppers | Paul Pierce
  • Mom fried pork sausages in the morning, you loved the smell of pumpernickel from the bakery in Vesey Street.

    The Syndic | C.M. Kornbluth
  • Our sub-officers and privates received good pickled meat with vegetables, pumpernickel (black bread) and rye whiskey.

  • Then we had pumpernickel, Gruyère cheese and radishes, and for a third course vanilla ice.

    Home Life in Germany | Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick

British Dictionary definitions for pumpernickel


/ (ˈpʌmpəˌnɪkəl) /

  1. a slightly sour black bread, originating in Germany, made of coarse rye flour

Origin of pumpernickel

C18: from German, of uncertain origin

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