[brek-fuh st] /ˈbrɛk fəst/

the first meal of the day; morning meal:
A hearty breakfast was served at 7 a.m.
the food eaten at the first meal of the day:
a breakfast of bacon and eggs.
verb (used without object)
to eat breakfast:
He breakfasted on bacon and eggs.
verb (used with object)
to supply with breakfast:
We breakfasted the author in the finest restaurant.

the food at this meal
(in the Caribbean) a midday meal
to eat or supply with breakfast

mid-15c., from break (v.) + fast (n.). The verb is recorded from 1670s. Related: Breakfasted; breakfasting.

Spanish almuerzo “lunch,” but formerly and still locally “breakfast,” is from Latin admorsus, past participle of admordere “to bite into,” from ad- “to” + mordere “to bite.” In common with almuerzo, words for “breakfast” tend over time to shift in meaning toward “lunch;” cf. French déjeuner “breakfast,” later “lunch” (equivalent of Spanish desayuno “breakfast”), both from Vulgar Latin *disieiunare “to breakfast,” from Latin dis- + ieiunare, jejunare “fast” (see jejune; also cf. dine). German Frühstück is from Middle High German vruostücke, literally “early bit.” Old English had morgenmete “morning meal.”

Related Terms

from hell to breakfast, mexican breakfast, shoot one’s cookies


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