Definition of breadline in US English:



North American
  • A line of people waiting to receive free food.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The piece opens by acknowledging the popularity of breadlines among bourgeois urban explorers, and their status as sociological and literary conventions.’
    • ‘A motley crew of hapless musicians and street performers are seen trying to cheer up citizens in what appears to be a breadline.’
    • ‘Moscow used to be famous for its bare shelves and breadlines.’
    • ‘It's all smokestacks and breadlines for him, who actually cites The Grapes of Wrath in his euphoric defense of government run programs.’
    • ‘Multibillion dollar multilane highways will empty of drivers; unemployment, breadlines and homelessness will follow.’
    • ‘His multi-figure bronze casts portray a breadline, an Appalachian farm couple and a man listening to one of FDR's fireside chats.’
    • ‘Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines!’
    line, row, column, file, chain, string, stream
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