Definition of bread in English:

bread

Syllabification: bread
Pronunciation: /bred
 
/

noun

1Food made of flour, water, and yeast or another leavening agent, mixed together and baked: a loaf of bread [as modifier]: a bread roll Italian breads
More example sentences
  • Unfortified whole wheat bread and bread baked from cake flour will still be available.
  • Substitute whole-grain flour for half or all of the white flour when baking bread.
  • Baking a loaf of bread will change the way you think about food.
1.1The bread or wafer used in the Eucharist: altar bread
More example sentences
  • Now this was according to God's will, so that the church might be provided with pure altar bread made by the hands of a chaste and innocent youth.
  • After all, the consecrated bread had become body, and a body already contains blood.
  • In his place was a priest with power to turn wine into blood and wafers of bread into flesh.
1.2The food that one needs in order to live: his day job puts bread on the table
More example sentences
  • What prompted this woman - earning her daily bread through selling live chickens and running a dry cleaning agency - to embark on such a mission?
  • To the extent that it undermines the stable provision of daily bread, it is actively dangerous to the safety and stability of the world, including to ourselves.
  • But for the integrity and the respect of the innocent billions, earning their daily bread under the confines of economic stagnation, that deserve a shelter of peace.
2 informal Money: I hate doing this, but I need the bread
More example sentences
  • It makes sense to use your head and spread the bread.
  • The uncreative tell the creative what to do because they want the bread.
  • She's going to be tired and irritable, and bound to bring up the subject of who earns the bread.

Origin

Old English brēad, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch brood and German Brot.

Phrases

the best (or greatest) thing since sliced bread

informal Used to emphasize one’s enthusiasm about a new idea, person, or thing: they think that she is the greatest thing since sliced bread
More example sentences
  • She finally locates the Assistant Wine Whatever-His-Title-Is, and he of the broad-smile-on-a-wide-face recommends the wine as if it were the next best thing since sliced bread.
  • Some people are a little confused by this latest trend, wondering what all the fuss is about and why it's becoming the next best thing since sliced bread.
  • While some analysts think it's the next best thing since sliced bread, it has the feeling of WAP redux.

bread and circuses

A diet of entertainment or political policies on which the masses are fed to keep them happy and docile.
[translating Latin panem et circenses (Juvenal's Satires, x.80)]
More example sentences
  • It also feeds nationalist hunger among the populace, making them proud of the achievements of their country even while they realize that they live under an authoritarian and corrupt government - bread and circuses for the masses.
  • And this kind of mass entertainment destroyed the morality of the Roman people, who no longer worked for a living; they lived on bread and circuses, on entertainment and the dole.
  • Outside its locked doors, amid atmospheric squalor, the huddling masses distract themselves with bread and circuses, while one man agitates for revolution.

bread and water

A frugal diet that is eaten in poverty, chosen in abstinence, or given as a punishment.
More example sentences
  • What these people need is a diet of bread and water.
  • This included locking them up for a week on a diet of bread and water.
  • The 32 measures included sleep and sensory deprivation, the use of military dogs to terrify prisoners, temperature extremes and diets of bread and water.

bread and wine

The consecrated elements used in the celebration of the Eucharist; the sacrament of the Eucharist.
More example sentences
  • We know him: in our prayer, in the bread and wine of the sacrament, in every gracious word, in smiles of generous welcome and in every moment of joy or beauty that leaves us more whole and human.
  • And what we have is some bread and wine - consecrated by the Word and prayer to be to us the body and blood of our Lord.
  • We need to live our lives formed by the radical sharing of bread and wine in the Eucharist.

the bread of life

Something regarded as a source of spiritual nourishment: the Roman Catholic Church and faith were the bread of life to the subordinate classes
More example sentences
  • Distributing the bread of life by preaching Christ to sinners is a greater work than feeding five thousand with loaves and fishes.
  • He is the Holy One of God, he is the bread of life that came down from heaven.
  • It is to this place that those whom Jesus raises from the dead will go as well as those who have eaten the bread of life which comes down from heaven.

break bread

Celebrate the Eucharist.
More example sentences
  • Later, however, precise details would be given: namely, that this confession would take place when the community gathered on each Lord's day to break bread and celebrate the Eucharist.
  • Rather than ceasing to baptize or break bread, Lewis suggests an attitude of repentance because of the lack of unity among Christians.
  • I am thinking especially of the oil painting in the Louvre where a tired and almost anaemic God is recognised by the two disciples with whom he breaks bread in the inn at Emmaus.
literary Share a meal with someone.
More example sentences
  • I was able to break bread with him just last week.
  • I'm out of town the rest of today for a loan closing and to break bread with an old friend or two.
  • Local residents can fire questions and voice concerns and break bread with them as they pass.

cast one's bread upon the waters

Do good without expecting gratitude or reward.
[with biblical allusion to Eccles. 11:1]
More example sentences
  • And we cast our bread upon the waters and fed the birds - ducks, swans, and fat pigeons on the banks.
  • The apostle had cast his bread upon the waters of Ilissus and Cephisus to find it after many days.
  • Often the best I can do personally is to cast my bread upon the waters and hope that it will feed somebody.

daily bread

The money or food that one needs in order to live: she earned her daily bread by working long hours

know which side one's bread is buttered (on)

informal Know where one’s advantage lies.
More example sentences
  • Holland is a sober-suited confidant who knows which side his bread is buttered on.
  • After all, the quiet genius with a wicked wit knows which side his bread is buttered on.
  • There are various ways of sidestepping such rules, but one of the best ones is only to brief an expert with a well-developed reputation of knowing which side his bread is buttered on.

one cannot live by bread alone

People have spiritual as well as physical needs.
[with biblical allusion to Deut. 8:3, Matt. 4:4]
More example sentences
  • As they say, you cannot live by bread alone, so be sure to take care of the liquid side of your diet as well.
  • Advocates of Taiwan independence, particularly those residing comfortably in the United States, like to point out that one cannot live by bread alone, but must have the personal freedom of choice.
  • Biblically, one cannot live by bread alone, but Lent has seen me living almost entirely on Starbucks’ avocado and sun dried tomato sandwiches, with banana and toffee muffins for dessert!

take the bread out of (or from) people's mouths

Deprive people of their livings by competition or unfair working practices.
More example sentences
  • Public funds rest upon taxation: they take the bread out of people's mouths, willing or no.

want one's bread buttered on both sides

informal Want more than is practicable or than is reasonable to expect.
More example sentences
  • He is not willing to make any sacrifice but wants his bread buttered on both sides.
  • She wants her bread buttered on both sides - she does not want to be committed to one person
  • Universities that want their bread buttered on both sides when it comes to affirmative action would do better to apply more fiber than fat in their reasoning.

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