a butter cookie commonly made in thick, pie-shaped wheels or rolled and cut in fancy shapes.

Origin of shortbread

First recorded in 1795–1805; short + bread Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shortbread

Historical Examples of shortbread

  • I find your Christmas present (just arrived) to be a haggis and shortbread!

  • Who should it be but Uncle Clarke, with a big cake of shortbread in his arms!

  • There were none for me, but one and a fine Scotch shortbread for the wounded Fife man in the bed next to mine.

  • These shortbread things are fussing about hither and thither across the field, and now and then an amœba comes crawling into view.

  • This was right; the dog paid his halfpenny, took his shortbread, and ate it with decorous satisfaction.

British Dictionary definitions for shortbread



a rich crumbly biscuit made from dough with a large proportion of butter

Word Origin for shortbread

C19: from short (in the sense: crumbly)
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 shortbread

also short-bread, 1755, from short (see shortening) + bread (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper