gingerbread

EnglishEdit

 
gingerbread
 
gingerbread architecture in Galveston, Texas

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English gyngebred, gyngebrede, from Old French gingembras, gingimbrat (preserved ginger), from Medieval Latin *gingimbrātus (gingered, presumably referring to ginger that perhaps had a pharmaceutical use for some medicinal preparation), with intrusive m added to gingiber, from Latin zingiber (ginger), of earlier Sanskrit origin, through Ancient Greek ζιγγίβερις (zingíberis). The third syllable was early confounded with bread, and the insertion of an r in the second syllable completed the semblance of a compound word: ginger +‎ bread.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

 
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gingerbread (countable and uncountable, plural gingerbreads)

  1. (food) A type of cake whose main flavoring is ginger.
  2. (figuratively, obsolete) Something ersatz; something showy but insubstantial.
  3. (architecture) A flamboyant Victorian-era architectural style.
    • 1980, Robert M. Jones, editor, Walls and Ceilings, Time-Life Books, →ISBN, page 37:
      For a time modern architects took a starkly functional approach to the design of houses, emphasizing clean, uncluettered lines and rejecting most forms of wall ornamentation as dust-catching gingerbread.

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