breakfast

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See also: break-fast and break fast

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 parts of the world.

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English brekefast, brekefaste, equivalent to break +‎ fast (literally, "to end the nightly fast"), likely a variant of Old English fæstenbryċe, (literally, "fast-breach"). Cognate with Dutch breekvasten (breakfast).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈbɹɛkfəst/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • (meal eaten after religious fasting, also): (US) IPA(key): /ˈbɹeɪkˌfæst/, (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈbreɪkˌfɑːst/

Noun[edit]

breakfast (countable and uncountable, 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.
  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. The celebratory meal served after a wedding (and occasionally after other solemnities e.g. a funeral).
  4. (largely obsolete outside religion) A meal eaten after a period of (now often religious) fasting.
    • c. 1693?, John Dryden, Amaryllis
      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.

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Afrikaans: brekfis
  • Irish: bricfeasta
  • Maori: parakuihi
  • Scottish Gaelic: bracaist
  • Welsh: brecwast

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

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.
    • May 14, 1689, Matthew Prior, epistle to Fleetwood Shephard Esq.
      First, sir, I read, and then I breakfast.
    • 1847 October 16, Currer Bell [pseudonym; Charlotte Brontë], chapter I, in Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. [], volume II, London: Smith, Elder, and Co., [], OCLC 3163777, page 12:
      “Oh, he set off the moment he had breakfasted! []
    • 1941 August, C. Hamilton Ellis, “The English Station”, in Railway Magazine, page 356:
      Fifty years ago, the traveller might breakfast well at home in London, and take nothing more than a cup of coffee at King's Cross.
  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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