DEFINITION of 'Breadwinner'

The primary, or sole, income earner in a household. Breadwinners, by contributing the largest portion of household income, generally cover most household expenses and financially support their dependents.

BREAKING DOWN 'Breadwinner'

The term breadwinner is most often used to refer to single income families in which one of the members works to generate income and the other stays at home to care for dependents. The term is based on the word "bread", which is slang for money.

  1. Income

    Money that an individual or business receives in exchange for ...
  2. Immediate Family

    A person's smallest family unit, consisting of the closest relatives, ...
  3. Gross Income

    1. An individual's total personal income before taking taxes ...
  4. Dependent

    An individual whom a taxpayer can claim for credits and/or exemptions. ...
  5. Household Income

    The combined gross income of all the members of a household who ...
  6. Debt-To-Income Ratio - DTI

    A personal finance measure that compares an individual's debt ...
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