Definition of breakfast in English:



  • A meal eaten in the morning, the first of the day:

    ‘a breakfast of bacon and eggs’
    [mass noun] ‘I don't eat breakfast’
    • ‘Luckily pseudonymous kid is a great city kid, though we had a couple of bad mornings where late breakfasts made everyone cranky and impatient.’
    • ‘When they arose late in the morning, two breakfasts of pancakes, eggs, bacon, jelly-covered toast, milk, and orange juice were already made for them to eat.’
    • ‘Early morning breakfasts have not become the fashion.’
    • ‘The guy on duty that morning had prepared our breakfasts for us ‘take-away’, so we could have the food on the bus.’
    • ‘The two sows and piglets are are a bit annoyed this morning - their breakfast is late.’
    • ‘For the record, I personally have bacon and egg breakfasts quite often and eat enough sausages to make me a good German.’
    • ‘Ellis also encourages his athletes to eat big breakfasts and light dinners.’
    • ‘Many of us grew up with National Radio blaring while we had our breakfast in the mornings.’
    • ‘The shop was already open, though it was early in the morning and Höß was still eating his breakfast.’
    • ‘He lived with a couple called Mr and Mrs Birdikin above their shop and used to eat a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs every day.’
    • ‘To mark the departure we had a breakfast yesterday morning at Nikau just within my team.’
    • ‘All it was, it seems, was a bad pint of beer and not his breakfast on a Sunday morning.’
    • ‘After a traditional breakfast on Tuesday morning, we will set off again for Baikonur.’
    • ‘Many people were put off their breakfasts on Friday morning by radio news bulletins about human and animal excrement in our drinking water.’
    • ‘I went on to eat a light breakfast and to get my morning writing session done, then felt decidedly dozy.’
    • ‘I was in Starbucks opposite the British Library this morning having my breakfast.’
    • ‘Early morning breakfasts, and a delightfully varied lunch menu are now available six days a week.’
    • ‘With breakfast and the pale morning sun finally starting to warm our frozen bodies, we hit the dusty track once more.’
    • ‘She is very fond of fruit, particularly bananas and eats a good breakfast and dinner every day.’
    • ‘Fourteen people were asked to eat a different breakfast on each of four mornings.’


  • Eat breakfast:

    ‘she breakfasted on fried bread and bacon’
    • ‘According to research published in 2003, kids breakfasting on fizzy drinks and sugary snacks performed at the level of an average 70-year-old in tests of memory and attention.’
    • ‘The sun was shining and it was not too windy, so we breakfasted alfresco style.’
    • ‘We breakfasted on pastries and coffee from the hotel's Il Fornaio Panetteria and used a coupon we'd received at check-in to get free biscotti.’
    • ‘So, we had breakfasted by ten and were out wandering the city by eleven.’
    • ‘The shooters showed up while we were breakfasting on fatty kebab, naan, and yogurt.’
    • ‘Only a few miles from where I'm writing this, children come to their ill-equipped schools having breakfasted on nothing but a cup of coffee.’
    • ‘They breakfasted on dried venison, bread and cheese.’
    • ‘I said goodbye to the other breakfasting Mavi backpackers, feeling a bit bad that I was leaving them just so I could have a warmer room.’
    • ‘But not until I am bathed and breakfasted do I approach the first official happy hour of the day.’
    • ‘After the family breakfasted, a meal which I did not attend, Helda sought me out in the garden.’
    • ‘I breakfasted there a week ago and naturally, a photocopy of the strip was tacked up above the register, front and center, just like hundreds of Zippy strips at hundreds of diners and lunch counters all across the country.’
    • ‘He was already breakfasted and curled up in a tight ball of sleep in his summer nest at the head of the bed.’
    • ‘Quickly, we settled into an unhurried routine of rising late, breakfasting on board, and then sailing from one island to the next, stopping along the way to dive the region's many reefs.’


  • have (or eat) someone for breakfast

    • informal Deal with or defeat someone with contemptuous ease.

      • ‘There is no new-metal sarcasm or hipster posturing taking place here: this un-ironic swaggering will drink all your beer and then eat you for breakfast before you even realize you've taken your pants off.’
      • ‘In fact, if you aren't nice to your rat friends, they'll eat you for breakfast.’
      • ‘Claire manages to stand her ground with Hersh but he'd have had me for breakfast.’
      • ‘She looked like she could eat him for breakfast and spit out his bones to make her lunchtime soup.’
      • ‘However, if they made the slightest mistake, then the shield wall would have them for breakfast.’
      • ‘He may be perfectly polite and even smile from time to time, but he still looks like he would eat you for breakfast rather than give much away about himself.’
      • ‘Most performers have had critics rip them to pieces and eat them for breakfast.’
      • ‘The evil arms dealing world of imports and exports has created him and from now on we will have to have him for breakfast in one form or another.’
      • ‘But the Liberals finally had them for breakfast through the most basic and important of election tactics - tear.’
      • ‘Another City-based source warned that, despite reassuring clauses in the merger announcement: ‘Halifax will have them for breakfast’.’
      • ‘One reviewer has already remarked that the book's heroine, Clara Hutt, ‘could eat Bridget Jones for breakfast’.’
      • ‘She'd managed to get herself a part in a play, and they'd roasted her and toasted her and had her for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.’
      • ‘Another good question is, if he does argue his case, will the remaining justices eat him for breakfast, or simply dismember him?’
      • ‘Therefore, I did what we always have to do: Fought them at every turn; for if you do not fight them like Vikings they'll have you for breakfast.’


Late Middle English: from the verb break + fast.