Definition of hardtack in US English:



  • Hard dry bread or biscuit, especially as rations for sailors.

    • ‘He had as well ordered Blair's chambermaids to dress her after she had completed bathing, so that she could have some sustenance other than stale bread and other hard tack eaten on days of leave, but she had yet to emerge into the dining hall.’
    • ‘The lore associated with ‘saloon pilots’, Hawaii's own name for crackers (or hard tack or sea biscuits), has much fascination.’
    • ‘She slowly took the plate of hard tack and fruit.’
    • ‘The rain had soaked what was left of his dry goods - turning his corn flour into a crusted rock and his hard tack into mush.’
    • ‘Edison's father Eucalyptus once remarked that if Lulu succumbed to her scurvy pox no one would even know but for the lessening of her complaints for hard tack and goat milk.’
    • ‘It could be dried into a sort of hard tack that stood up to long voyages.’
    • ‘Hardtack was one of the food supplies they packed because it could be kept for a long time without spoiling.’
    • ‘It is more a gathering of those that are too old to be in the reserves anymore and very few younger reservists want to listen to these old and bold talking about the old days of bivouacs and hard tack.’
    • ‘The vast wheatlands of Central America and Spain are on their last legs but they're still producing enough wheat to have made into some sort of bread and it staggers its way here, it's sort of more like hard tack than bread.’
    • ‘The round things in this bag are called hard tack wafers, they don't taste very good, but they will keep you on your feet.’
    • ‘Hardtack had to be tough to withstand the trip.’
    • ‘Ah m'poor dears, that hard tack is to last you a whole week.’
    • ‘I was jarred from sleep slightly before dawn on the nights I didn't have the night watch, and hustled down to the galley for some hard tack and ale and hustled up to the main deck to get to work.’
    • ‘Hardtack is the most famous American Civil War staple food.’
    • ‘Then there was the bag of hard tack, some now wet preserved fruits, oh and then there was a half of a drum of flour.’
    • ‘The basic army rations were poor, mainly consisting of hard tack biscuits and black coffee.’