Word of the Day

peanut butter


a soft food made by crushing peanuts that you usually spread on bread

Origin of the word

Dr John Harvey Kellogg, producer of Kellogg’s cereals, was the first food manufacturer to patent a process for making peanut butter. Earlier versions did exist, but these were usually called ‘nut butter’.


Peanut butter is a spread made from dry roasting peanuts. It is most often eaten on toast or in a sandwich but can also be used as an ingredient. The roasting process acts to boost the peanut’s flavour potential, raising the proportion of oil compared to solids and minimizing excess moisture. The roasted nuts are then ground into a paste before salt, sugar or artificial sweeteners are added. There are many different types of peanut butter and most people have a preference for either the smooth or the crunchy variety. As each tablespoon provides around four grams of protein, peanut butter is a nutritional snack, but the fat content tends to be high.

In the United States, 12 June each year is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day. To celebrate the event, peanut butter lovers across the country bake homemade cookies which contain peanut butter. Traditionally, these are marked with a forked cross on the top to differentiate them from other cookies. Once a batch is ready, the cookies are shared with friends, family or work colleagues. The inaugural National Peanut Butter Cookie Day is thought to have occurred at some point in the early 20th century.


“The trouble with remakes is that people fall in love with the original. It’s like peanut butter. If you try to change the taste of peanut butter, you’re in trouble.”

(Sylvester Stallone)

“Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.” ¬

(James A. Garfield)


peanut spread

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

About the author

Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary is an award-winning, one-stop reference for English learners and speakers around the world.

Leave a Comment