Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A glazed, ring-shaped roll with a tough, chewy texture, made from plain yeast dough that is dropped briefly into nearly boiling water and then baked.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A toroidal bread roll that is boiled before it is baked.
  • n. A score of 6-0 in a set (after the shape of a bagel, which looks like a zero).
  • n. An overly materialistic and excessively groomed young man.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a glazed leavened doughnut-shaped roll with a hard crust.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Yiddish) glazed yeast-raised doughnut-shaped roll with hard crust

Etymologies

Yiddish beygl, from Middle High German *böugel, diminutive of bouc, ring, from Old High German boug.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Yiddish בייגל (beygl), ultimately from Old High German bouc, boug- ("ring, bracelet"), from Old High German boug ("ring"), from Proto-Germanic *baug- (“ring”) plus Proto-Germanic *-il (“noun suffix”); cf. obsolete English bee ("metal ring, bracelet"), Middle English bege, beh, Old English bēag, bēah, Old Frisian bāg, Old Saxon bōg, Middle Low German bōg, Old Norse baugr, all from Proto-Germanic *baugaz (“ring”); also compare dialectal Austrian German Beugel, Beigel. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • In Minnesota they pronounce the vowels of "bag" and "bagel" oppositely from what I'm used to -- i.e. /beɪg/ and /bægəl/ instead of /bæg/ and /beɪgəl/.

    January 4, 2011

  • Another usage on bageldom: "A stock worth zero."

    February 17, 2010

  • sheep ointment

    January 12, 2009

  • Boiling the dough before baking is what gives the wonderful chewy texture. You've never tasted a better bagel than one made in your own kitchen. Try it.

    February 3, 2008