Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One whose earnings are the primary source of support for one's dependents.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who earns a livelihood for himself and those dependent upon him: usually restricted to one who is directly dependent upon his earnings from day to day or from week to week.
  • noun That by means of which one earns one's bread.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The member of a family whose labor supplies the food of the family; one who works for his living.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The primary income-earner in a household

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

  • noun one whose earnings are the primary source of support for their dependents

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From bread +‎ winner, where to win = to earn. Compare West Frisian breawinning ("livelihood", literally "bread-winning").

Examples

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