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sourdough

[souuh r-doh, sou-er-] /ˈsaʊərˌdoʊ, ˈsaʊ ər-/
noun
1.
leaven, especially fermented dough retained from one baking and used, rather than fresh yeast, to start the next.
2.
a prospector or pioneer, especially in Alaska or Canada.
3.
any longtime resident, especially in Alaska or Canada.
adjective
4.
leavened with sourdough:
sourdough bread.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English; see sour, dough
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for sour dough

sourdough

/ˈsaʊəˌdəʊ/
adjective
1.
(dialect) (of bread) made with fermented dough used as a leaven
noun
2.
(in Western US, Canada, and Alaska) an old-time prospector or pioneer
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 sour dough

sourdough

n.

early 14c., "leavened bread," also "leaven" (late 14c.), from sour (adj.) + dough. Meaning "fermented dough" is from 1868. The meaning "Arctic prospector or pioneer" is from 1898 Yukon gold rush, from the practice of saving a lump of fermented dough as leaven for raising bread baked during the winter.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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