Definition of breakfast in US English:



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

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


[no object]
  • Eat breakfast.

    ‘she breakfasted on French toast and bacon’
    • ‘So, we had breakfasted by ten and were out wandering the city by eleven.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The sun was shining and it was not too windy, so we breakfasted alfresco style.’
    • ‘But not until I am bathed and breakfasted do I approach the first official happy hour of the day.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After the family breakfasted, a meal which I did not attend, Helda sought me out in the garden.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘The shooters showed up while we were breakfasting on fatty kebab, naan, and yogurt.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was already breakfasted and curled up in a tight ball of sleep in his summer nest at the head of the bed.’
    eat, munch, munch on, ingest, consume, take, partake of, taste, swallow, devour, feast on, gulp, gulp down, gobble, gobble down, wolf, wolf down, scoff, scoff down, tuck in, tuck into, breakfast on, lunch, lunch on, dine, dine on
    View synonyms


  • have (or eat) someone for breakfast

    • informal Deal with or defeat someone with contemptuous ease.

      • ‘Another good question is, if he does argue his case, will the remaining justices eat him for breakfast, or simply dismember him?’
      • ‘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 City-based source warned that, despite reassuring clauses in the merger announcement: ‘Halifax will 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.’
      • ‘One reviewer has already remarked that the book's heroine, Clara Hutt, ‘could eat Bridget Jones for breakfast’.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, if they made the slightest mistake, then the shield wall would have them for breakfast.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Most performers have had critics rip them to pieces and eat them for breakfast.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She looked like she could eat him for breakfast and spit out his bones to make her lunchtime soup.’


Late Middle English: from the verb break + fast.