Definition of breadline in English:



  • 1the breadlineBritish The poorest condition in which it is acceptable to live.

    ‘they are not well off, but they are not on the breadline’
    • ‘Why do rich people's siblings deserve such a massive head start in life when there are millions of people living on the breadline?’
    • ‘They say the increased minimum wage, calculated by academics at London University, would provide a better standard of living for families on the breadline.’
    • ‘L' Enfant is a moving tale of a young couple living on the breadline in an unnamed and soulless city.’
    • ‘Simultaneously, Housing Benefit officials stopped benefits for more than 100 people living on the breadline, even though they knew their actions could lead to genuine claimants losing their homes.’
    • ‘After holing himself up in a tower for 10 years, there was no follow-up novel and the family was living on the breadline.’
    • ‘People on the breadline are going to be left out in the cold.’
    • ‘To avoid living on the breadline, particularly when you are old and vulnerable, individuals should ensure they make adequate provision.’
    • ‘As well as the modern urban centres with their skyscrapers there are still hundreds of thousands of villages where people live on the breadline.’
    • ‘Apart from bad money management and indebtedness, some individuals who are out of work due to illness or who have to give up work altogether due to ill health, may also find themselves living on the breadline.’
    • ‘But a Senate inquiry into poverty and hardship revealed that the number of Australians living on the breadline is increasing and was told that those left behind in the economic boom represented one in five households.’
    • ‘For your information 70 per cent of the people in this country are living on the breadline.’
    • ‘These people were living below the breadline and did not have the basic income for the basic necessities.’
    • ‘One in three children still live below the breadline - despite all the government's pledges to end child poverty.’
    • ‘You are protected from living on the breadline by the welfare state.’
    • ‘Many cities were said to be turning into ghost towns, with some five to seven million people living precariously on the breadline, scratching out an existence from one day to the next.’
    • ‘He was also a child of the untamed and untilled outback where people lived quite literally on the breadline.’
    • ‘You are a borderline hopeless case and unless you take action now you could be living on the breadline come retirement.’
    • ‘Once again, the council taxpayer is being asked to pay a lot more for a lot less, and once again those living on the breadline will be hardest hit.’
    • ‘My question is, why should the lawmakers allow all those benefits to be bestowed on the former president, while there are people in this country who are living below the breadline?’
    • ‘The raft of measures announced by the government last week, however, will bring real new money to those already retired and living on the breadline.’
  • 2North American A queue of people waiting to receive free food.

    • ‘It's all smokestacks and breadlines for him, who actually cites The Grapes of Wrath in his euphoric defense of government run programs.’
    • ‘Our grandparents survived the Great Depression, the breadlines, the shanties, the World Wars, Viet Nam, and so many more things that we can't put into our own short lifespan.’
    • ‘Moscow used to be famous for its bare shelves and breadlines.’
    • ‘Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines!’
    • ‘The piece opens by acknowledging the popularity of breadlines among bourgeois urban explorers, and their status as sociological and literary conventions.’
    • ‘In truth, we're a long way from breadlines, and policymakers understand the forces that move the economy today much better than they did then.’
    • ‘It became very difficult to imagine comforting future soldiers with the promise of an Arcadian ‘world-before-the-war’ when that world, the last ‘after-war,’ had rewarded heroes with breadlines.’
    • ‘His multi-figure bronze casts portray a breadline, an Appalachian farm couple and a man listening to one of FDR's fireside chats.’
    • ‘Multibillion dollar multilane highways will empty of drivers; unemployment, breadlines and homelessness will follow.’
    • ‘And bring back breadlines and 20% unemployment.’
    • ‘Organized by sleazy promoters who manipulated the outcome and lured hungry couples out of the breadlines and into the competition with the promise of free meals, the marathons lasted for days, even months.’
    • ‘A motley crew of hapless musicians and street performers are seen trying to cheer up citizens in what appears to be a breadline.’
    line, row, column, file, chain, string, stream
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