- a type of cake flavored with ginger and molasses.
- a rolled cookie similarly flavored, often cut in fanciful shapes, and sometimes frosted.
- elaborate, gaudy, or superfluous architectural ornamentation: a series of gables embellished with gingerbread.
- heavily, gaudily, and superfluously ornamented: a gingerbread style of architecture.
- a moist brown cake, flavoured with ginger and treacle or syrup
- a rolled biscuit, similarly flavoured, cut into various shapes and sometimes covered with icing
- (as modifier)gingerbread man
- an elaborate but unsubstantial ornamentation
- (as modifier)gingerbread style of architecture
late 13c., gingerbrar, from Old French ginginbrat “ginger preserve,” from Medieval Latin gingimbratus “gingered,” from gingiber (see ginger). The ending changed by folk etymology to -brede “bread,” a formation attested by mid-14c. Originally “preserved ginger,” the meaning “a kind of spiced cake” is from 15c. Figurative use, “showy, insubstantial” is from c.1600. Sense of “fussy decoration on a house” is first recorded 1757; gingerbread-work (1748) was a sailor’s term for carved decoration on a ship.