Hard-tack

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Hard-tack A name given by soldiers and sailors to a kind of unleavened hard biscuit or sea bread. Called also pilot biscuit pilot bread ship biscuit and ship bread
    • Hard-tack Any of several mahogany trees, esp. the Cercocarpus betuloides.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Hard-tack ship-biscuit
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. heard; Dut. hard, Ger. hart, Goth. hardus; allied to Gr. kratys, strong.

Usage

In literature:

I had always made it a rule to keep a supply of sugar and some hard tack in my haversack, ready for an emergency.
""Shiloh" as Seen by a Private Soldier" by Warren Olney
Plenty o' beans and hard-tack; but who wants beans and hard-tack?
"The Wreck of the Titan" by Morgan Robertson
In another locker he found a kid of cold potatoes, and there was an abundance of hard-tack in a keg on the transom.
"Little Bobtail" by Oliver Optic
I always like to eat hard-tack in the dark, then I can't see the worms.
"How Private George W. Peck Put Down The Rebellion or, The Funny Experiences of a Raw Recruit - 1887" by George W. Peck
Having a romantic temperament and a taste for heroics, I had wished to fight and eat hard tack for my country.
"Duffels" by Edward Eggleston
The fish were nibbling at pieces of hard tack which had been thrown overboard by the sailors.
"Reminiscences of Two Years in the United States Navy" by John M. Batten
We were given our evening meal, which consisted of bully beef and hard tack.
"In the Flash Ranging Service" by Edward Alva Trueblood
Put the tin box of hard-tack in the middle.
"Harper's Young People, May 18, 1880" by Various
He had gone on the wrong tack, and he felt it hard to give up the expedition.
"The Rainbow" by D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
In my knap-sack I had water, hard tacks and other food.
"Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States, From Interviews with Former Slaves" by Work Projects Administration
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In poetry:

I SING a legend of the sea,
So hard-a-port upon your lee!
A ship on starboard tack!
She's bound upon a private cruise -
(This is the kind of spice I use
To give a salt-sea smack).
"The Captain and the Mermaids" by William Schwenck Gilbert

In news:

THE Arthritis Foundation is taking a new tack with its public service advertising, introducing a hard-hitting campaign that urges people to take up exercise as a weapon against pain.
A hard tack to the right.
Prisoners huddle around flickering fires and gnash hard tack.
Trackless Tack is an advanced asphalt emulsion tack specially formulated to dry extremely fast into a hard and driveable coating–often in less than 10 minutes.
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