Student Dictionary

2 entries found for hamburger.
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Main Entry: ham·burg·er
Pronunciation: primarystressham-secondarystressbschwar-gschwar
Variant(s): or ham·burg /-secondarystressbschwarg/
Function: noun
Etymology: German Hamburger (adjective) "of Hamburg," city in Germany
1 a : ground beef b : a cooked patty of ground beef
2 : a sandwich consisting of a patty of hamburger in a split round bun
Word History It may seem odd that there isn't any ham in a hamburger. The origins of the word hamburger, however, have nothing to do with a type of meat. The word really comes from the name of the German city Hamburg. Hamburger, when capitalized, means "of Hamburg." Fried, flat cakes of ground beef were a popular food in Hamburg in the 19th century, and so they became known in English as Hamburger steaks. The name was later shortened to hamburger. Most people no longer associate the word hamburger with the city of Hamburg, since the hamburger is now usually thought of as an American food.

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