There are 2 main definitions of loaf in English:

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loaf1

Syllabification: loaf
Pronunciation: /lōf
 
/

noun (plural loaves /lōvz/)

1A quantity of bread that is shaped and baked in one piece and usually sliced before being eaten: a loaf of bread two loaves in the oven
More example sentences
  • Sooner rather than later, you really must bake a loaf of bread.
  • There is nothing as simple as baking a loaf of bread or a cake.
  • We spotted this curry chicken baked in a loaf of bread at a neighbouring table.
1.1An item food formed into an oblong shape and sliced into portions.
Example sentences
  • She had her share of bad '70s health food - think soy loaf - but she was also exposed to a variety of foods at an early age.
  • Not content to have a nice big dish of holiday mushroom ravioli or lentil loaf, vegetarians seem curiously afflicted with a desire to conform to the season.
  • Garnished with fresh vegetables and a side of mashed potatoes, this loaf of pure C grade meat is the talk of the town.

Origin

Old English hlāf, of Germanic origin; related to German Laib.

More
  • Originally loaf meant ‘bread’ as well as ‘a shaped quantity of bread’. In the British expression to use your loaf, ‘use your common sense’, loaf probably comes from the rhyming slang phrase loaf of bread meaning ‘head’. It is first recorded in a 1920s dictionary of army and navy slang as ‘Loaf, head, e.g., Duck your loaf, i.e., keep your head below the parapet’. To loaf (mid 19th century) or spend time in an aimless, idle way is not connected with bread, but comes from loafer, which itself is probably based on German Landläufer ‘a tramp’, related to the word landlubber (early 18th century). See also bread, lady, lord

Phrases

half a loaf is better than none

1
proverb It is better to accept less than one wants or expects than to have nothing at all.
Example sentences
  • I said, ‘Well, half a loaf is better than no bread.’
  • As I've said, many people will not regard the recycling operation as the most ideal one for the ultra modern advance factory, but as the old saying goes, half a loaf is better than no bread.
  • Still half a loaf is better than no bread, although it is important that the managerial commitment to address this particular situation in 2003 is honoured.

Words that rhyme with loaf

oaf

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There are 2 main definitions of loaf in English:

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loaf2

Syllabification: loaf
Pronunciation: /lōf
 
/

verb

[no object]
Idle one’s time away, typically by aimless wandering or loitering: don’t let him see you loafing around with your hands in your pockets
More example sentences
  • Wouldn't you rather have her issue arrive in your mailbox as opposed to loafing around bodegas and drugstores for hours until you build up the courage to buy it?
  • There were three leaders just loafing around the clubhouse turn.
  • Near the toe of the glacier a party of three guys were loafing around their tent.
Synonyms
laze, lounge, loll, idle, waste time
informal hang around, bum around, futz around

Origin

mid 19th century: probably a back-formation from loafer.

More
  • Originally loaf meant ‘bread’ as well as ‘a shaped quantity of bread’. In the British expression to use your loaf, ‘use your common sense’, loaf probably comes from the rhyming slang phrase loaf of bread meaning ‘head’. It is first recorded in a 1920s dictionary of army and navy slang as ‘Loaf, head, e.g., Duck your loaf, i.e., keep your head below the parapet’. To loaf (mid 19th century) or spend time in an aimless, idle way is not connected with bread, but comes from loafer, which itself is probably based on German Landläufer ‘a tramp’, related to the word landlubber (early 18th century). See also bread, lady, lord

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