Also called stomach sweetbread. the pancreas of an animal, especially a calf or a lamb, used for food.
Also called neck sweetbread, throat sweetbread. the thymus gland of such an animal, used for food.

Origin of sweetbread

First recorded in 1555–65; sweet + bread
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sweetbread

Historical Examples of sweetbread

  • The lamb's fry should be nearly all sweetbread, and very little liver.

  • Then put in the sweetbread and ham, and enough stock to mix nicely.

    The Skilful Cook

    Mary Harrison

  • Harris, wrinkled as a sweetbread and thin as an umbrella, blinked at Cassy.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • Perhaps if you could get me a sweetbread I might manage a few morsels.

    Nell, of Shorne Mills

    Charles Garvice

  • And then for her supper she had a sweetbread—a sweetbread and bacon.

    Good Old Anna

    Marie Belloc Lowndes

British Dictionary definitions for sweetbread



the pancreas (stomach sweetbread) or the thymus gland (neck or throat sweetbread) of an animal, used for food

Word Origin for sweetbread

C16: sweet + bread, perhaps from Old English brǣd meat; related to Old Saxon brādo ham, Old High German brāt, Old Norse brāth
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 sweetbread

"pancreas used as food" 1560s, from sweet (adj.); the -bread element may be from Old English bræd "flesh."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper