Definitions

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

  • n. Sour fermented dough used as leaven in making bread.
  • n. An early settler or prospector, especially in Alaska and northwest Canada.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Describing something made from dough that was leavened with yeast and lactobacteria that produce acids giving a sour taste.
  • n. Dough, leavened with yeast and lactobacteria that produce acids giving a sour taste.
  • n. A permanent resident of the territory. Someone who has lived in the Yukon during all four seasons.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See the extract.

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

  • n. a leaven of dough in which fermentation is active; used by pioneers for making bread
  • n. a settler or prospector (especially in western United States or northwest Canada and Alaska)

Etymologies

Sense 2, from an association with using pieces of sourdough to leaven bread in the winter.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Term applied to someone who has lived in Alaska for a long time and has learned to survive in the harsh climate. From gold rush days, when maintaining sourdough starter was an important survival skill. See cheechako.

    November 5, 2007