Main meanings of loaf in English

: loaf1loaf2

loaf1

nounloaves

  • 1A quantity of bread that is shaped and baked in one piece and usually sliced before being eaten.

    ‘ a loaf of bread’
    ‘a granary loaf’
    • ‘Sooner rather than later, you really must bake a loaf of bread.’
    • ‘There is nothing as simple as baking a loaf of bread or a cake.’
    • ‘We spotted this curry chicken baked in a loaf of bread at a neighbouring table.’
    • ‘Baking a loaf of bread will change the way you think about food.’
    • ‘I had ended up with two large bottles of water, four Granny Smiths, a loaf of granary bread and a jar of lemon curd.’
    • ‘In one scene the actors actually baked a loaf of bread and shared it with the audience.’
    • ‘Oh, and would you be a dear and bake a loaf of bread for tonight?’
    • ‘Then on Sunday I baked myself a loaf of bread - I used a mix of white and wholemeal flour to which I added a good handful of oats.’
    • ‘I was making a stew which would hopefully last a few days and I'd also baked a loaf of bread earlier.’
    • ‘She took out a loaf of rye bread and a block of cheese wrapped in more paper.’
    • ‘You can't really go wrong with a loaf of wholemeal organic bread, but as much as I love the UK I find it difficult to get remarkable fresh bread.’
    • ‘Thus the outside of a loaf of bread is the crust or croûte.’
    • ‘He picked lemon pepper tuna, peaches, and a loaf of white toast bread.’
    • ‘We suggest the Pale Ale and, if you're hungry, a loaf of bread and garlic butter.’
    • ‘Her face is like the top slice of a loaf of bread which is 7 days stale’
    • ‘The play centres round the baking of a loaf of challah bread, made to her father's cherished recipe.’
    • ‘As the inside expands it cracks the outer shell, giving it the appearance of the crust of a loaf of bread.’
    • ‘I made a loaf of white soda bread and a batch of cheese scones for lunch on Saturday.’
    • ‘You make it, I know now, from reading the cookbook, with a loaf of stale country bread soaked in cold water, basil, a couple of roasted red peppers, a red onion and two small cucumbers.’
    • ‘Poor wretch, the officers tell me that he was caught robbing a loaf of bread from the basket of a wealthy Lady who had bought it.’
    1. 1.1An item of food formed into an oblong shape and sliced into portions.
      • ‘She had her share of bad '70s health food - think soy loaf - but she was also exposed to a variety of foods at an early age.’
      • ‘Not content to have a nice big dish of holiday mushroom ravioli or lentil loaf, vegetarians seem curiously afflicted with a desire to conform to the season.’
      • ‘Garnished with fresh vegetables and a side of mashed potatoes, this loaf of pure C grade meat is the talk of the town.’
      • ‘Mixing meat with eggs and bread crumbs alone is simply hamburger loaf.’
      • ‘He would starve if I did not feed him bits of old olive loaf.’

Phrases

    use one's loaf
    British informal
    • Use one's common sense.

      • ‘They used their loaf when they set up in business 41 years ago.’
      • ‘But we would urge people to use their loaf when parking and make sure they don't leave anything of value on display.’
      • ‘He said: ‘Farrell is a good player but he needs to start using his loaf a bit more, vary play and not feel he has a divine right to do everything.’’
    half a loaf is better than no bread
    proverb
    • It is better to accept less than one wants or expects than to have nothing at all.

      • ‘I said, ‘Well, half a loaf is better than no bread.’’
      • ‘As I've said, many people will not regard the recycling operation as the most ideal one for the ultra modern advance factory, but as the old saying goes, half a loaf is better than no bread.’
      • ‘Still half a loaf is better than no bread, although it is important that the managerial commitment to address this particular situation in 2003 is honoured.’
      • ‘The rules are clearly designed as an additional incentive on P to settle, and the more risk-averse he is, the more likely he is to say that half a loaf is better than no bread at all.’
      • ‘This bill is like the old saying: half a loaf is better than no bread.’

Origin

Old English hlāf, of Germanic origin; related to German Laib.

Pronunciation

loaf

/ləʊf/

Main meanings of loaf in English

: loaf1loaf2

loaf2

verb

[no object]
  • Spend one's time in an aimless, idle way.

    ‘don't let him see you loafing about with your hands in your pockets’
    • ‘Had a busy week dealing with drunk rambling boyfriends (well… not plural, there was only one) celebrating St David's day and generally loafing about.’
    • ‘He is pragmatic about the idea of trendily shod herder kids loafing about the steppe.’
    • ‘Only about 20 others shared in this unique experience in the screening I attended, while outside in the mall where the cinema is located thousands were window - shopping or loafing about.’
    • ‘It's about standing around - not loafing but spending hour upon hour on one's feet.’
    • ‘It is a place to escape to for days spent loafing in hammocks, meandering among the coconut palms in the garden or idling through pulp novels on the patio, all the time lulled by the pounding surf and the relentless whoosh of the trade winds.’
    • ‘Saturday and Sunday were spent loafing around, watching movies (some good, some not so good) and awards ceremonies.’
    • ‘In one canvas palace, beautiful people loafed around on pouffes, while those outside had to make do with slightly damp grass.’
    • ‘The next morning you can loaf around at your pleasure, and in the afternoon there will be a demonstration of a back massage, followed by gentle exercise and some stimulating oils to prepare you for your journey home.’
    • ‘Mat says that time saved means more time to loaf around.’
    • ‘He has earned the right to loaf around a bit if he likes.’
    • ‘Offshore, seals loaf around on the Carracks, two rocky islets and the odd small fishing boat bounces across the surf.’
    • ‘Having been brought up hearing nothing about wharfies save how they loafed around in the intervals between striking and stealing cargo, I got a rude shock when the task began.’
    • ‘At any rate, having done a fair bit of shopping on Friday I was able to stay out of town altogether on Saturday, and just slept late and loafed around.’
    • ‘I guess she likes her male to loaf around the yard in boxers and no shirt, guzzle a beer and let off a hearty belch etc etc.’
    • ‘He sings and celebrates himself, he loafs and invites his soul.’
    • ‘When loafing in Miami South Beach, I was transfixed by the neon-coloured art deco hotels on Ocean Drive and, each day, squeezed past laughing tourists taking photographs of one particular building.’
    • ‘There we were, loafing in his front room on a rainy afternoon, parents out at work in the days where you could trust your kids not to burn the house down while you're out for the day.’
    • ‘The rest of the afternoon I have been loafing, feeling sorry for myself and surfing and playing games.’
    • ‘Mark Twain was a frequent visitor in the early 1900s (‘the right country for a jaded man to loaf in,’ he said).’
    • ‘I actually quite admire the way teenagers loaf about.’
    laze, lounge, loll
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 19th century probably a back-formation from loafer.

Pronunciation

loaf

/ləʊf/