Ginger bread


a type of cake flavored with ginger and molasses.
a rolled cookie similarly flavored, often cut in fanciful shapes, and sometimes frosted.
elaborate, gaudy, or superfluous architectural ornamentation: a series of gables embellished with gingerbread.
heavily, gaudily, and superfluously ornamented: a gingerbread style of architecture.

1250–1300; Middle English gingebreed (influenced by breed bread), variant of gingebrad, -brat ginger paste < Old French gingembras, -brat preserved ginger < Medieval Latin *gingi(m)brātum a medicinal preparation (neuter past participle), derivative of Latin gingiber ginger

gingerbready, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gingerbread (ˈdʒɪndʒəˌbrɛd)
1.  a moist brown cake, flavoured with ginger and treacle or syrup
2.  a.  a rolled biscuit, similarly flavoured, cut into various shapes and sometimes covered with icing
 b.  (as modifier): gingerbread man
3.  a.  an elaborate but unsubstantial ornamentation
 b.  (as modifier): gingerbread style of architecture

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

1299, gingerbrar, from O.Fr. ginginbrat "preserved ginger," from M.L. gingimbratus "gingered," from gingiber (see ginger). The ending changed by folk etymology to -brede "bread," a formation attested by 1352. Originally "preserved ginger," the meaning "a kind of spiced cake"
is from 15c. Sense of "fussy decoration on a house" is first recorded 1757, originally gingerbread-work (1748), a sailors' term for carved decoration on a ship.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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