be toast


1 [tohst]
sliced bread that has been browned by dry heat.
verb (used with object)
to brown, as bread or cheese, by exposure to heat.
to heat or warm thoroughly at a fire: She toasted her feet at the fireplace.
verb (used without object)
to become toasted.
be toast, Slang. to be doomed, ruined, or in trouble: If you're late to work again, you're toast!

1350–1400; (v.) Middle English to(o)sten < Middle French toster < Vulgar Latin *tostāre, derivative of Latin tostus (< *torstos), past participle of torrēre to parch, roast, from a base *tors-, akin to Gothic thaursus, Old Norse thurr dry; (noun) late Middle English to(o)ste, derivative of the v.; see torrid, thirst Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
toast1 (təʊst)
1.  sliced bread browned by exposure to heat, usually under a grill, over a fire, or in a toaster
2.  informal be toast to face certain destruction or defeat
3.  (tr) to brown under a grill or over a fire: to toast cheese
4.  to warm or be warmed in a similar manner: to toast one's hands by the fire
[C14: from Old French toster, from Latin tōstus parched, baked from torrēre to dry with heat; see thirst, torrid]

toast2 (təʊst)
1.  a tribute or proposal of health, success, etc, given to a person or thing by a company of people and marked by raising glasses and drinking together
2.  a person or thing honoured by such a tribute or proposal
3.  (esp formerly) an attractive woman to whom such tributes are frequently made: she was the toast of the town
4.  to propose or drink a toast to (a person or thing)
5.  (intr) See also rap to add vocal effects to a prerecorded track: a disc-jockey technique
[C17 (in the sense: a lady to whom the company is asked to drink): from toast1,from the idea that the name of the lady would flavour the drink like a piece of spiced toast]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"to brown with heat," late 14c., from O.Fr. toster "to toast or grill" (12c.), from V.L. *tostare (cf. It. tostare, Sp. tostar), frequentative of L. torrere (pp. tostus) "to parch" (see terrain). The noun meaning "a toasted piece of bread" is attested from early 15c.; slang
meaning "a goner, person or thing already doomed or destroyed" is recorded by 1987, perhaps from notion of computer circuits being "fried," and with unconscious echoes of earlier fig. phrase to be had on toast (1886) "to be served up for eating." Toaster in the electrical appliance sense first recorded 1913. Toasty "warm and comfortable" is recorded from 1890.

"a call to drink to someone's health," 1700 (but said by Steele, 1709, to date to the reign of Charles II), originally referring to the beautiful or popular woman whose health is proposed and drunk, from the use of spiced toast to flavor drink, the lady regarded as figuratively adding piquancy to the
wine in which her health was drunk. The verb meaning "to propose or drink a toast" also is first recorded 1700. This probably is the source of the Jamaican and U.S. black word meaning "extemporaneous narrative poem or rap" (1962).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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