Definition of pretzel in US English:



  • A crisp biscuit baked in the form of a knot or stick and flavored with salt.

    • ‘And I can't think of any better vehicle for crunchy grains of coarse salt than pretzels.’
    • ‘Here's a quick guide to the chip and pretzel aisles of your supermarket.’
    • ‘Eat salty pretzels and salted bagels before a race.’
    • ‘Should they add hard pretzels and pretzel sticks to their repertoire?’
    • ‘A while later, she came back with their drinks as well as pretzels that nobody wanted.’
    • ‘I don't understand why the people who make pretzels think that they have to put salt on my pretzels for me.’
    • ‘The plain, salted pretzels weren't ready, but ones stuffed with either cheese or apple cinnamon were available.’
    • ‘Once they got through the masses of people, the hotdog and pretzel vendors, and the people-infested stores, it was cool.’
    • ‘The girls are both daintily dipping their pretzel sticks in their water before taking bites.’
    • ‘Aside from chips, which are properly considered members of the grease family, salt is present in many baked goods such as pretzels.’


[with object]North American
  • Twist, bend, or contort.

    ‘he found the snake pretzeled into a tangle of knots’
    • ‘How does he pretzel himself into that machine, anyway?’
    • ‘As she curls up in her chair like a Siamese, I feel my hips press up against the arm rests and wonder where she's finding all that extra space to pretzel her body into feline folds.’
    • ‘Among the favorite groups to clothe, house and take on a ride are bendable figures with extended limbs that can be ‘pretzeled’ into the most unlikely poses.’
    • ‘You're now pretzeled, with your feet pointing opposite directions.’
    • ‘It allowed for more elaborate plots with more technology, gave the show the freedom to explore some of the modern world rather than having to pretzel backwards to fit the '40s.’
    • ‘This knowledge translates very well to the mat, where your opponent may force you into pretzeled positions against your will.’
    twisted, crooked, warped, contorted, deformed, misshapen, out of shape, irregular
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Mid 19th century (originally US): from German Bretzel.