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A soft and flaky American biscuit (2) on the left and a hard British biscuit (1) on the right.
This American biscuit (2) has been broken open to show its interior; honey is being drizzled onto it.
The hard, flat, baked goods in tins like these are sometimes sold as biscuits (1) even in America, not just in the UK.
La Nourrice biscuit (5) after Louis Boizot.


From bisket, from Old French bescuit (French: biscuit).



biscuit ‎(plural biscuits)

  1. (chiefly Britain, Australia, New Zealand, rare in the US) A small, flat, baked good which is either hard and crisp or else soft but firm: a cookie.
  2. (chiefly Canada, US) A small, usually soft and flaky bread, generally made with baking soda, which is similar in texture to a scone but which is usually not sweet.
  3. (Britain) A cracker.
    cheese and biscuits, water biscuits, digestive biscuits
  4. (nautical) The "bread" formerly supplied to naval ships, which was made with very little water, kneaded into flat cakes, and slowly baked, and which often became infested with weevils.
  5. A form of unglazed earthenware.
  6. A light brown colour.
    biscuit colour:    
  7. (woodworking) A thin oval wafer of wood or other material inserted into mating slots on pieces of material to be joined to provide gluing surface and strength in shear.


For usage examples of this term, see Citations:biscuit.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In North America, a biscuit is a small, soft baked bread similar to a scone but not sweet. In the United Kingdom, a biscuit is a small, crisp or firm, sweet baked good — the sort of thing which in North America is called a cookie. (Less frequently, British speakers refer to crackers as biscuits.) In North America, even small, layered baked sweets like Oreos are referred to as cookies, while in the UK, only those biscuits which have chocolate chips, nuts, fruit, or other things baked into them are also called cookies.
  • Throughout the English-speaking world, thin, crispy, salty or savoury baked breads like these are called crackers, while thin, crispy, sweet baked goods like these and these are wafers.
  • Both the US and the UK distinguish crackers, wafers and cookies/biscuits from cakes: the former are generally hard or crisp and become soft when stale, while the latter is generally soft or moist and becomes hard when stale.

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French Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia fr


Old French bescuit, from bis- +‎ cuit.



biscuit m ‎(plural biscuits)

  1. biscuit

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biscuit m ‎(invariable)

  1. biscuit (white earthenware)
  2. wafer (for ice cream)