a. A dark molasses cake flavored with ginger.
b. A molasses and ginger cookie cut in various shapes, sometimes elaborately decorated.
a. Elaborate architectural ornamentation, as on the trim of gables and porches on a Victorian house.
b. Superfluous or tasteless embellishment.
[Middle English gingebred, a stiff pudding, preserved ginger, alteration (influenced by bred, bread, bread) of Old French gingembrat, from Medieval Latin *gingibrātum, from gingiber, ginger; see GINGER.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.