Ⅰ. loaf1 (lōf)
n. pl. loaves (lōvz) 1) A shaped mass of bread baked in one piece. 2) A shaped, usually rounded or oblong, mass of food: »

veal loaf.

[Middle English lof, from Old English hlāf.]
Word History: Loaf, lord, and lady are closely related words that testify to bread's fundamental importance in the Middle Ages. Curiously, though bread was a staple food in many Indo-European cultures, loaf and its cognates occur only in the Germanic languages, and lord and lady only in English. Loaf derives from Old English hlāf, "bread, loaf of bread," related to Gothic hlaifs, Old Norse hleifr, and Modern German Laib, all of which mean "loaf of bread." Hlāf survives in Lammas, originally Hlāfmaesse, "Loaf-Mass," the Christian Feast of the First Fruits, traditionally celebrated on August 1. Lord comes from Old English hlāford, a compound meaning "loaf-ward, keeper of bread," because a lord maintains and feeds his household and offers hospitality. Similarly, lady derives from Old English hlǣfdige, which became lady by 1382. The -dige comes from dæge, "kneader," and is related to our dough. A lady, therefore, is "a kneader of bread, a breadmaker." Lord and lady both retain vestiges of their original meanings, although England's aristocrats have not been elbow deep in flour, let alone dough, for several centuries.
Ⅱ. loaf2 (lōf)
intr.v. loafed, loaf·ing, loafs To pass time at leisure; idle.
[Probably back-formation from LOAFER(Cf. ↑loafer).]

Word Histories. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • loaf — Ⅰ. loaf [1] ► NOUN (pl. loaves) ▪ a quantity of bread that is shaped and baked in one piece. ● half a loaf is better than no bread Cf. ↑half a loaf is better than no bread ● use one s loaf Cf. ↑ …   English terms dictionary

  • Loaf — Loaf, n.; pl. {Loaves}. [OE. lof, laf, AS. hl[=a]f; akin to G. laib, OHG. hleip, Icel. hleifr, Goth. hlaifs, Russ. khlieb , Lith. kl[ e]pas. Cf. {Lady}, {Lammas}, {Lord}.] Any thick lump, mass, or cake; especially, a large regularly shaped or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • loaf — loaf; loaf·er·ish; loaf·ing·ly; loaf·er; …   English syllables

  • Loaf — Loaf, v. t. To spend in idleness; with away; as, to loaf time away. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • loaf — loaf1 [lōf] n. pl. loaves [lōvz] [ME lof < OE hlaf, akin to Ger laib, OHG hlaib, ON hleifr, Goth hlaifs] 1. a portion of bread baked in one piece, commonly of oblong shape and in a size convenient for table use 2. any mass of food shaped… …   English World dictionary

  • Loaf — Loaf, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Loafed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Loafing}.] [G. laufen to run, Prov. G. loofen. See {Leap}.] To spend time in idleness; to lounge or loiter about. Loafing vagabonds. W. Black. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • loaf — [n] block of something bun, cake, cube, dough, lump, mass, pastry, roll, slab, twist; concepts 436,457,460,461 loaf [v] be idle, lazy be inactive, be indolent, be slothful, be unoccupied, bum*, bum around*, dally, dillydally*, dream, drift, evade …   New thesaurus

  • loaf — index procrastinate Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • loaf — vb *idle, lounge, loll, laze Analogous words: rest, repose, relax (see corresponding nouns at REST): *saunter, stroll, amble Contrasted words: work, labor, toil, travail (see corresponding nouns at WORK) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • loaf — The plural form of the noun is loaves; the third person singular of the verb is loafs …   Modern English usage

  • loaf|er — «LOH fuhr», noun. 1. a person who loafs; idler. 2. a) a shoe resembling a moccasin, but with sole and heel stitched to the upper. b) Loafer, a trademark for such a shoe …   Useful english dictionary

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