From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


two loaves (1) of bread


Etymology 1[edit]


loaf (plural loaves)

  1. (also loaf of bread) A block of bread after baking.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 8, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Philander went into the next room [] and came back with a salt mackerel that dripped brine like a rainstorm. Then he put the coffee pot on the stove and rummaged out a loaf of dry bread and some hardtack.
  2. Any solid block of food, such as meat or sugar.
    • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “IV. Century.”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] William Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], →OCLC:
  3. (Cockney rhyming slang) The brain or the head (mainly in the phrase use one's loaf).
    • 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, “VIII and XII”, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, →OCLC:
      It is frequently said of Bertram Wooster that he is a man who can think on his feet, and if the necessity arises he can also use his loaf when on all fours. [...] “Why didn't the idiot tell her not to open it?” “It was his first move. ‘I've found a letter from you here, precious,’ she said. ‘On no account open it, angel,’ he said. So of course she opened it.” She pursed the lips, nodded the loaf, and ate a moody piece of crumpet. “So that's why he's been going about looking like a dead fish.”
  4. A solid block of soap, from which standard bar soap is cut.
  5. (cellular automata) A particular still life configuration with seven living cells.
    • 1989 November 20, Dean Hickerson, “Life: glider gun origin”, in comp.theory.cell-automata[1] (Usenet):
      It runs for 17331 generations before stabilizing as 136 blinkers, 109 blocks, 65 beehives, 18 loaves, 18 boats, 7 ships, 4 tubs, 3 ponds, 2 toads, and 40 gliders.
    • 1992 September 10, David Bell, “Spaceships in Conway's Life (Part 3b)”, in comp.theory.cell-automata[2] (Usenet):
      Running a LWSS into it can produce various debris. One of these reactions produces a loaf. When the loaf is properly hit with other LWSSs, it can be pulled backwards.
    • 1998 January 27, Ian Osgood, “Life: looking for smallest ancestor of a quad-loaf”, in comp.theory.cell-automata[3] (Usenet):
      I am looking for the smallest ancestor of the following four loaf pattern in Conway's Game of Life:
Derived terms[edit]
  • Norwegian Bokmål: loff
  • Norwegian Nynorsk: loff
  • (soap) Miller, J.L. "Customers believe in downstate Soap Fairy", The News Journal, B10, January 10, 2006.


loaf (third-person singular simple present loafs, present participle loafing, simple past and past participle loafed)

  1. (Cockney rhyming slang) To headbutt
  2. (Internet slang) To be in catloaf position (for cats or other animals)

Etymology 2[edit]

Probably a back-formation from loafer.


loaf (third-person singular simple present loafs, present participle loafing, simple past and past participle loafed)

  1. (intransitive) To do nothing, to be idle.
    loaf about, loaf around
    • 2015, Elizabeth Royte, Vultures Are Revolting. Here’s Why We Need to Save Them., National Geographic (December 2015)[4]
      They don’t (often) kill other animals, they probably form monogamous pairs, and we know they share parental care of chicks, and loaf and bathe in large, congenial groups.
Derived terms[edit]