Definition of porridge in English:



  • 1A dish consisting of oatmeal or another meal or cereal boiled in water or milk.

    • ‘At one stage they even refused to return their porridge bowls to prison orderlies.’
    • ‘A cooked breakfast is always available as well as porridge and cereal - and there is always a good choice of lunchtime and dinner meals.’
    • ‘Within hours, Frost had been sheltered in a hut, where he was given milk and porridge and berries and ale.’
    • ‘The inmates said they could not eat thick porridge without milk and asked for bread and butter with tea.’
    • ‘While this brand of porridge contains no added sugar, the manufacturers have managed to slip in skimmed milk and cream powder.’
    • ‘This is the classic method using oatmeal rather that porridge oats and is my favourite because of its rough texture and lingering flavour.’
    • ‘Aaron's breath steamed in the chill air as he got up from the porridge he was stirring to unlock the prisoner.’
    • ‘Among the dishes made from barley, barley porridge is more delicate than oatmeal porridge, to the point of being rather insipid.’
    • ‘Millet is ground into flour and made into porridge by boiling it in water.’
    • ‘Salami, curd cheese, eggs, porridge and bread are combined with any supper left over from the evening before.’
    • ‘They set out as soon as they had finished their breakfast, a quick meal of porridge and plain bread with a scraping of butter.’
    • ‘I start with porridge, and then mid-morning I have six egg whites on brown toast.’
    • ‘For breakfast I'll have porridge with soya milk and fruit, sprinkled with some ground cinnamon.’
    • ‘Every morning I make porridge with raisins and maple syrup.’
    • ‘Add the milk and allow the porridge to boil for 30-35 minutes on low heat while stirring occasionally.’
    • ‘A restaurant serving dishes including snail porridge and smoked bacon and egg ice cream has been named the second best in the world.’
    • ‘Another traditional dish is gruel or porridge made with the dried fruit of sago palms.’
    • ‘When I taste porridge I remember my early childhood in Edinburgh.’
    • ‘There was tea and toast for breakfast and sometimes porridge.’
    • ‘I corrected him - we alternate between semolina one day, and mealie meal porridge the next.’
  • 2informal Time spent in prison.

    ‘I'm sweating it out doing porridge’
    • ‘Try as one might, it is hard to think of another jailbird who was allowed to publish a book while still doing porridge.’
    • ‘The Home Office has rejected plans to give lags access to the internet and email while doing porridge.’
    • ‘As if his novels weren't enough, he went on to publish his very own prison diary after doing porridge in London's Belmarsh jail.’
    • ‘Convicted crook Ray Williams is doing even more porridge than insurance spiv Rodney Adler.’
    • ‘Tweed mayor Warren Polglese joined Larry Anthony doing porridge for charity.’
    imprisonment, internment, confinement, detention, custody, captivity, restraint
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century (denoting soup thickened with barley): alteration of pottage. Sense 2 dates from the 1950s.