What does breadcrumbing mean?

Leading someone on romantically

Breadcrumbing means leading a person on in a romantic way with no intention of committing to a relationship (ship). The person doing the "breadcrumbing" may do it on accident, but typically he or she does it on purpose because it's fun to be pursued and fawned over.

The term gained popularity in the mid-2010s as a way to call out people who are being breadcrumbed and people who are doing the breadcrumbing. In heterosexual pursuits, the mail is usually the one being breadcrumbed and the female is the one breadcrumbing.

The breadcrumbing person may send provocative texts or give flirty glances but then wants nothing to do with commitment. Some benefits of breadcrumbing a person include undivided attention, free meals, and thoughtful gifts from the breadcrumbed person.

Breadcrumbing comes from the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale. In the story, the two children leave breadcrumbs on the path they take so they can follow it out of the forest.


"She is the worst. She's just breadcrumbing me along until she can find someone more fun."
Breadcrumbing is often done through texting

Breadcrumbing is often done through texting

Related Slang


Last Updated: June 23, 2020

Breadcrumbing definition

This page explains what the slang term "Breadcrumbing" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slangit team.

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