wafer

Definitions

Computing

  • noun a thin round slice of a large single crystal of silicon onto which hundreds of individual integrated circuits are constructed, before being cut into individual chips

Electronics

Food

  • A thin, crisp, unsweetened biscuit with a papery texture made by cooking a batter between hot plates, served with ice cream and sometimes sandwiched together in several layers with a sweet or savoury cream filling to form a wafer biscuit

Travel

  • noun a thin sweet biscuit eaten with ice cream

Origin & History of “wafer”

Wafer and waffle (18th c.) are essentially the same word. both come ultimately from a Low German term whose underlying etymological meaning was of a ‘honeycomb’-patterned cake or biscuit – a sense wafer has since lost. The ancestral form was wāfel, which seems to have come from the prehistoric Germanic base *wab-, *web- (source of English weave) and is probably related to German wabe ‘honeycomb’. Old French borrowed middle Low German wāfel as gaufre (which is where English got goffer ‘crimp’ (18th c.) from). The Anglo-Norman version of this was wafre – whence English wafer. Waffle was borrowed direct into American English from Dutch wafel. (The verb waffle ‘speak verbosely’ (19th c.), incidentally, is not the same word. It is a derivative of an earlier waff (17th c.), used for the sounds a dog makes, which like woof was of imitative origin.).
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