breakfast

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English[edit]

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Sausages, bacon, fried mushrooms and tomatoes, scrambled eggs and toast at a restaurant in Singapore. These foods are eaten for breakfast in many countries.

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From break + fast; to end the nightly fast.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈbɹɛkfəst/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • (meal eaten after religious fasting): also IPA(key): /ˈbɹeɪkˌfæst/

Noun[edit]

breakfast ‎(plural breakfasts)

  1. The first meal of the day, usually eaten in the morning.
    You should put more protein in her breakfast so she will grow.
    • 1591, Shakespeare, Henry VI, part 2, act 1:
      a sorry breakfast for my lord protector
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, The Cuckoo in the Nest[1]:
      Peter, after the manner of man at the breakfast table, had allowed half his kedgeree to get cold and was sniggering over a letter. Sophia looked at him sharply. The only letter she had received was from her mother. Sophia's mother was not a humourist.
  2. (by extension) A meal consisting of food normally eaten in the morning, which may typically include eggs, sausages, toast, bacon, etc.
    We serve breakfast all day.
  3. (largely obsolete outside religion) A meal eaten after a period of (now often religious) fasting.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Dryden
      The wolves will get a breakfast by my death.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In the sense "meal eaten after a period of (now often religious) fasting",the word is more often spelled break-fast or break fast; it is also often pronounced differently.

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Verb[edit]

breakfast ‎(third-person singular simple present breakfasts, present participle breakfasting, simple past and past participle breakfasted)

  1. (intransitive) To eat the morning meal.
    • He breakfasted on pizza and Coke.
    • Prior
      First, sir, I read, and then I breakfast.
  2. (transitive) To serve breakfast to.
    • 1987, Anne McCaffrey, The Lady: A Tale of Ireland‎, page 269:
      By seven-thirty she had breakfasted them, provided each with a packed lunch and Thermoses of coffee and tea

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