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[jin-jer-bred] /ˈdʒɪn dʒərˌbrɛd/
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.
Origin of gingerbread
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
Related forms
gingerbready, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gingerbread
  • Other results presented at the meeting suggest that the best type of cookie to eat during afternoon tea might be gingerbread.
  • She spent hours with my brothers and me, making gingerbread houses or sledding or cutting out paper snowflakes.
  • 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.
  • The laid-back island atmosphere mixes with island architecture such as gingerbread mansions and conch houses with tin roofs.
  • Mulled wine, handmade wooden toys and the best gingerbread around can be found in these historic markets.
  • Among other features, the castle is turned into gift-wrapped presents, candy canes and a gingerbread house.
  • Residents with sunny dispositions welcome visitors to stroll past buildings with gingerbread trim and bright flower boxes.
  • The mingled aromas of mulled wine and gingerbread, thousands of starry lights and stalls heaving with crafts and gifts.
British Dictionary definitions for gingerbread


a moist brown cake, flavoured with ginger and treacle or syrup
  1. a rolled biscuit, similarly flavoured, cut into various shapes and sometimes covered with icing
  2. (as modifier): gingerbread man
  1. an elaborate but unsubstantial ornamentation
  2. (as modifier): gingerbread style of architecture
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gingerbread

late 13c., gingerbrar, from Old French ginginbrat "ginger preserve," from Medieval Latin gingimbratus "gingered," from gingiber (see ginger). The ending changed by folk etymology to -brede "bread," a formation attested by mid-14c. Originally "preserved ginger," the meaning "a kind of spiced cake" is from 15c. Figurative use, "showy, insubstantial" is from c.1600. Sense of "fussy decoration on a house" is first recorded 1757; gingerbread-work (1748) was a sailor's term for carved decoration on a ship.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for gingerbread



: the gingerbread stacks of the old river steamers

  1. Money (1700+)
  2. Fussy decoration, esp on a house; frillwork (1757+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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