AskDefine | Define toast

Dictionary Definition



1 slices of bread that have been toasted
2 a celebrity who receives much accalim and attention; "he was the toast of the town"
3 a person in desperate straits; someone doomed; "I'm a goner if this plan doesn't work"; "one mistake and you're toast" [syn: goner]
4 a drink in honor of or to the health of a person or event [syn: pledge]


1 make brown and crisp by heating; "toast bread"; "crisp potatoes" [syn: crisp]
2 propose a toast to; "Let us toast the birthday girl!"; "Let's drink to the New Year" [syn: drink, pledge, salute, wassail]

User Contributed Dictionary




Old French toster (to roast, to grill) < Latin tostus (grilled, burnt, from verb torrere (to burn, to grill))
The salutation originally referred to the beautiful or popular woman whose health was proposed and drunk, from the use of spiced toast to flavor drink, regarding her as figuratively adding piquancy to the wine in which her health was drunk


  1. Toasted bread.
    I ate a piece of toast for breakfast.
  2. Something that will be no more; something subject to impending destruction, harm or injury.
    If I ever get my hands on the guy that stole my wallet, he’s toast!
  3. A proposed salutation (e.g. to say "cheers") while drinking alcohol.
    At the reception, there were many toasts from the well-wishers.
  4. (Jamaican and U.S. black slang) extemporaneous narrative poem or rap


toasted bread


  1. To lightly cook by browning via direct exposure to a fire or other heat source.
    We liked to toast marshmallows around the campfire.
  2. To grill, lightly cook by browning specifically under a grill or in a toaster
    Top with cheese and toast under the grill for a few minutes.
  1. To engage in a salutation and/or accompanying raising of glasses while drinking alcohol in honor of someone or something.
    We toasted the happy couple many times over the course of the evening.


lightly cook by browning over fire
  • Dutch: roosteren
  • Spanish: tostar
lightly cook in a kitchen appliance
translations to be checked
  • Dutch: toasten, drinken op
  • German: toasten

Related terms

the salutation
the food


Extensive Definition

Toast is sliced bread which has been browned by exposure to dry heat ("toasted"). This browning reaction is a form of Maillard reaction. Toasting warms the bread, making it more pleasant to eat for some, and makes it crisp such that it holds toppings more securely. Toasting is also a common method of making stale bread palatable. Toast is often served with butter, cheese, marmalade, or any number of other toppings. Toast is a typical breakfast food.

Toasting methods

Using a household toaster

The usual method of browning bread is by the use of a toaster, a small appliance made for that purpose, first used in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. For a modern toaster, sliced bread is placed into the narrow slots on the top of the device and the desired toast setting is selected (some toasters have more elaborate settings than others). Then, the lever on the side of the toaster is pushed down, simultaneously turning on the heating elements.

Using a toaster oven

A more modern method of toasting is the use of a toaster oven. This device can be used both as a conventional oven and for toasting. It is usually a scaled down version of a conventional oven. The use of a toaster oven is more similar to that of a conventional oven: settings such as temperature and cooking time are set with knobs or buttons on the toaster oven. The bread is then placed on the oven rack to cook. Unlike the traditional toaster, the toast does not pop out the top when it is ready. Instead, the toast is simply removed from the oven by hand using an oven mitt or potholder. Some prefer the toaster oven because it takes up little counter space and can be used to bake small food items without having to use the conventional oven, but it is still debated whether it gives toast the "crunch" that a traditional toaster does.

Using a grill

Toast can also be prepared under a grill (UK definition, not a BBQ). This method requires turning the toast halfway through the cooking process, making it less convenient than using a toaster. This method also allows a range of toast based dishes to be created, for example cheese on toast where the bread is toasted on one side, turned and topped with cheese before finally grilling the second side.

Using an open fire

Traditionally toast can be prepared on a wood or coal burning open fire, using a toasting fork. As with the grill based method this requires turning the toast during the cooking process.

Preparation and use

Care must be taken while toasting bread to avoid burning toast unless it is desired in that state. Burnt toast is possibly carcinogenic, due to elevated levels of benzopyrene.
Toast is commonly eaten with butter or margarine spread over it. Jams, jellies and other spreads are also commonly used as toppings. In some countries a more popular practice is to spread a yeast extract, such as Marmite or Vegemite on toast. "Beans on toast" and "Eggs on toast" are both very popular simple meals in the United Kingdom. Other methods of preparing toast include to sprinkle a mixture of sugar and cinnamon on buttered toast, creating cinnamon toast. Toast spread with jam, jelly, apple butter or marmalade is commonly associated with breakfast. It is sometimes used instead of fresh bread for making sandwiches (such as a BLT sandwich).
Toast is a common component of many breakfasts, and is also used in some traditional bland specialty diets for people with gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, or morning sickness during pregnancy, such as the BRAT diet consisting of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.
Bread can also be cubed before being toasted, sometimes after being coated with seasonings. These toasted cubes are called croutons, and are often added to salads, soups, and other dishes.


toast in Catalan: Torrada
toast in German: Toastbrot
toast in Spanish: Tostada
toast in French: Pain grillé
toast in Galician: Torrada
toast in Hebrew: קלי
toast in Italian: Toast
toast in Korean: 토스트
toast in Malay (macrolanguage): Roti bakar
toast in Dutch: Tosti
toast in Japanese: トースト
toast in Polish: Tost
toast in Portuguese: Torrada
toast in Contenese: 多士
toast in Chinese: 吐司
toast in Finnish: Paahtoleipä

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

French bread, Irish soda bread, Italian bread, anniversaries, appreciation, bake, barbecue, baste, be in heat, beige, belle, bib, black bread, blanch, blaze, bloom, boil, booze, braise, bread, bread stick, bread stuff, brew, broil, brown, brown bread, brownish, brownish-yellow, brunet, burn, celebrating, celebration, ceremony, cheers, chocolate, choke, cinnamon, cocoa, cocoa-brown, coddle, coffee, coffee-brown, combust, commemoration, congratulate, cook, cracked-wheat bread, crust, curry, dark bread, darling, devil, do, do to perfection, drab, drain the cup, dressing ship, drink, drink in, drink off, drink to, drink up, dun, dun-brown, dun-drab, ecru, fanfare, fanfaronade, favorite, fawn, fawn-colored, felicitate, festivity, fine lady, fire, flame, flame up, flare, flare up, flicker, flourish of trumpets, flush, fricassee, frizz, frizzle, fry, fuscous, garlic bread, gasp, glow, good wishes, graham bread, grande dame, greet, greetings, grege, griddle, grill, guzzle, hazel, heat, hero, heroine, holiday, honor, idol, imbibe, incandesce, jubilee, khaki, loaf of bread, lurid, marking the occasion, matzo, matzoth, memorialization, memory, nut bread, nut-brown, observance, olive-brown, olive-drab, ovation, oven-bake, pain, pan, pan-broil, pant, parboil, parch, pay tribute to, pita, pledge, poach, precieuse, prepare, prepare food, pull, pumpernickel, quaff, radiate heat, raisin bread, rejoicing, religious rites, remembrance, remembrances, revel, rite, ritual observance, roast, rye bread, salt-rising bread, salutations, salute, salvo, saute, scald, scallop, scorch, seal, seal-brown, sear, seethe, sepia, shimmer with heat, shirr, simmer, sip, smolder, smother, snuff-colored, solemn observance, solemnization, sorrel, sourbread, sourdough bread, spark, staff of life, steam, stew, stifle, stir-fry, suck, suck in, suckle, suffocate, sup, sweat, swelter, swig, swill, tan, taupe, tawny, testimonial, testimonial banquet, testimonial dinner, tipple, toast-brown, tommy, toss down, toss off, tribute, triumph, umber, umber-colored, unleavened bread, walnut, walnut-brown, wash down, white bread, whole wheat bread, yellowish-brown
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