Definitions

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

  • n. Southern Louisiana A square doughnut with no hole: "a New Orleans coffeehouse selling beignets, an insidious Louisianian cousin of the doughnut that exists to get powdered sugar on your face” ( Los Angeles Times).
  • n. Southern Louisiana A fritter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. fritter (with a fruit or vegetable filling)
  • n. A Louisiana style fried donut or fritter covered in powdered sugar.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A fritter composed of various ingredients.

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

  • n. a deep-fried, yeast-raised doughnut dusted with confectioners' sugar

Etymologies

French, fritter, of Celtic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Louisiana French beignet, from Middle French bignet, from Old French bignet ("fried dough enveloping a food substance"), a diminutive of Old French bigne, bugne, buyne ("lump, swelling"), from Old Frankish *bungjo (“lump, bump, swelling”), from Proto-Germanic *bungô, *bunkô (“lump, heap, crowd”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰenǵʰ- (“thick, dense, fat”). Cognate with Old High German bungo ("swelling, tuber"; > German Bunge), Dutch bonk ("lump, clump"), Gothic  (buggja, "tuber, swelling"). Related to bun, bunk, bunch, bunion. Also connected to Gaulish *bunia and Gaelic bonnach "cake, biscuit." (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Well, a little powdered sugar on some fried dough, you've got what they call a beignet in New Orleans.

    CNN Transcript Oct 19, 2005

  • But what was more disheartening than watching a defense that a lot of people, myself included, believed had shown signs of evolving into a championship caliber unit, be picked apart like a beignet was the Patriots downright un-Patriotic play in all three phrases of the game, from poor throws to busted coverages to missed field goals.

    Boston.com Most Popular

  • There's a tiny lump of foie on the inside of this sweet beignet which is pate a choux dough, deep-fried, right?

    Day 78: Hors D'oeuvres Extravaganza

  •   A beignet is a kind of fried French-style doughnut. "

    Taste of New Orleans Returns

  • That’s called a beignet — great with an iced cafe au lait when you’re hammered after a night in the French Quarter. steve duncan Says:

    Matthew Yglesias » The View From Your Breakfast

  • Chuckling, he polished off his beignet and brushed sugar from his hands.

    Etched in Bone

  • Breaking off a couple of pieces from the beignet, he tossed them in front of the optimistic pigeons.

    Etched in Bone

  • Servings of the mocha beignet ($10) and the Earl Grey crème brûlée with lemon-lime sorbet ($10) are small enough to not invoke too much guilt.

    French Accents

  • After a few sips, I set the cup down and picked up a beignet.

    Darkness Becomes Her

  • Her small hand reaching out to a cajoling rescuer and then, there she was, powder-dusted like a small caramel beignet for a moment, but then bathed in repeated pours of bottled water to cleanse her, big eyes blinking as she looked around at the hub-bub, and the carnage ... the barely settling back to earth of everything on its surface after being upset by hell quaking below.

    Like Hell Needs A Heat Wave...

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