- breakfast (n.)
- mid-15c., from break (v.) + fast (n.). For vowel shift, see met (v.). An Old English word for it was undernmete (see undern), also morgenmete "morning meal.". The verb is recorded from 1670s. Related: Breakfasted; breakfasting.
Spanish almuerzo "lunch," but formerly and still locally "breakfast," is from Latin admorsus, past participle of admordere "to bite into," from ad "to" + mordere "to bite." German Frühstück is from Middle High German vruostücke, literally "early bit."
In common with almuerzo, words for "breakfast" tend over time to shift in meaning toward "lunch;" compare French déjeuner "breakfast," later "lunch" (cognate of Spanish desayuno "breakfast"), from Vulgar Latin *disieiunare "to breakfast," from Latin dis- "apart, in a different direction from" + ieiunare, jejunare "fast" (see jejune; also compare dine). Greek ariston in Homer and Herodotus was a meal at the break of day but in classical times taken in the afternoon.