Definition of pretzel in US English:


nounPlural pretzels

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

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

verbpretzeling, pretzeled, pretzels

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

    ‘he found the snake pretzeled into a tangle of knots’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You're now pretzeled, with your feet pointing opposite directions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘How does he pretzel himself into that machine, anyway?’
    • ‘This knowledge translates very well to the mat, where your opponent may force you into pretzeled positions against your will.’
    • ‘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.’
    twisted, crooked, warped, contorted, deformed, misshapen, out of shape, irregular
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Mid 19th century (originally US): from German Bretzel.