Definitions

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

  • noun A highly seasoned smoked cut of beef, usually taken from the shoulder.

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

  • noun A highly seasoned cut of smoked beef.

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

  • noun A seasoned smoked cut of beef

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

  • noun highly seasoned cut of smoked beef

Etymologies

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

[Yiddish pastrame, from Romanian pastramă, from Ottoman Turkish baṣdirma, salted and seasoned air-dried beef, equivalent to Modern Turkish pastırma, bastırma, from verbal noun of bastırmak, to press down, hold down, causative of basmak, to weigh upon, press (in reference to the pressing of the meat while curing it ).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Yiddish pastrame, from Romanian pastrama. That word is probably from Turkish pastırma, a variation of bastırma, "dried meat", from root *bas-, to press; the other possible origin of the Romanian word is the Greek παστώνω (pastono, "I salt"), from Ancient Greek παστός (pastos, "sprinkled with salt", "salted"). The English spelling ending in -mi is probably from the influence of salami.

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