gingerbread

[jin-jer-bred]
noun
1.
a type of cake flavored with ginger and molasses.
2.
a rolled cookie similarly flavored, often cut in fanciful shapes, and sometimes frosted.
3.
elaborate, gaudy, or superfluous architectural ornamentation: a series of gables embellished with gingerbread.
adjective
4.
heavily, gaudily, and superfluously ornamented: a gingerbread style of architecture.

Origin:
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gingerbread (ˈdʒɪndʒəˌbrɛd)
 
n
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
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

gingerbread
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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Example sentences
Other results presented at the meeting suggest that the best type of cookie to
  eat during afternoon tea might be gingerbread.
Gingerbread fretwork amid magnolia trees sets the tone for this antebellum home
  in a quaint seaport village.
Or the spicy whiff of gingerbread that takes you right back to a
  sledding-filled snow day.
Gingerbread is out on the dance floor while her sisters are still getting
  dressed.
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