From the second edition (1989):
(ˈbeɪkə(r)) Forms: 1 bæcere, 3–5 bakere, 4 bachare, 5–7 backer, 4– baker. [OE. bæcere, f. bacan to bake + -er1; cogn. with ON. bakari, Sw. bagare, Da. bagere, OHG. bacher; OS. bakkeri, Du. bakker, G. bäcker:—OTeut. *bak(k)arjo-z.]
1. One who bakes; spec. one whose business it is to make bread.
a1000 Ælfric Colloquy Q. 5, Sume cypmenn, sume sce~wyrhtan, sealteras, bæceras. Ibid. Q. 54, Hwæt sest þu, bæcere? c1300 Men Lif 16 in E.E.P. (1862) 155 Hail be ȝe bakers wiþ ȝur louis smale. c1300 Relig. Songs vii. 35 Alle theos false chepmen, the feond heom wule habbe, Bachares and brueres. 1466 Mann. & Househ. Exp. 211 To‥the backers wyffe, for v. mennes borde. c1500 Arnold Chron. (1811) 9 That backers or myllars stelying paste or mele be drawen vpon an hyrdel. 1598 Stow Survey (1633) 208 A Pillorie, for the punishment of Bakers, offending in the assise of bread. 1602 Shakes. Ham. iv. v. 42 They say the Owle was a Bakers daughter. 1604 Dekker Honest Wh. Wks. 1873 II. 122 Are not Bakers armes the skales of Iustice? yet is not their bread light? 1768 Smollett Humph. Cl. Let. 8 June, The miller or the baker is obliged to poison them and their families, in order to live by his profession. 1847 Kinglake Eothen xvii, The very first baker of bread that ever lived must have done his work exactly as the Arab does at this day.
2. ‘A small portable tin oven in which baking is performed.’ In U.S. (Webster.)
1841 Lowell (Mass.) Offering I. 227 (Th.), A peep into the baker told that the potatoes were cooked. a1862 Thoreau Maine W. (1864) 249 Somebody had left‥on a deserted log‥a loaf of bread baked in a Yankee-baker. 1897 Outing (U.S.) XXIX. 489/1 The cooking utensils consisting of three dripping pans, one patented baker and one large coffee-pot.
3. An artificial salmon fly in angling.
1867 F. Francis Angling x. (1880) 345 The Baker is another good general fly.
4. Proverbs. (As to the Pillory see 1598 in 1.)
1562 J. Heywood Prov. & Epigr. (1867) 47, I feare we parte not yéet, Quoth the baker to the pylorie. 1660 Howell Eng. Prov. ii Ile take no leave of you, quoth the Baker to the Pillory. 1857 N. & Q. 21 Mar., Pull Devil, Pull Baker, in England's the cry.
5. Comb., as baker-feet, -legs, -knees, baker's knee, names of deformities of the lower extremities incident to bakers; baker-legged, -kneed, a., having these deformities; baker's bread, bread baked by a baker (opp. home-baked); baker's itch, a species of tetter or psoriasis to which the hands of bakers and cooks are liable; baker's salt, an appellation of commercial carbonate of ammonia, used instead of yeast in pastry and bread.
1611 Cotgr., Iarretier‥Baker-legd, that goes in at the knees. 1652 Gaule Magastrom. 186 Baker-kneed signifies effeminate. 1656 W. Dugard Gate Lat. Unl. §292 Hee that is baker-legged, rub's his knees against one another. 1656 Artif. Handsom. (1662) 79 The unhandsome warpings of bow Leggs and baker Feet. 1659 Lady Alimony v. v. in Hazl. Dodsl. XIV. 361 His puny baker-legs. 1784 J. Barry Lect. Art ii. (1848) 94 Knocked or baker knees. 1871 Figure Training 39 Baker's knee, as it is called, or an inclining inwards of the right knee-joint until it closely resembles the right side of a letter K, is the almost certain penalty of habitually bearing any burden of bulk in the right hand. 1813 Jane Austen Let. 3 Nov. (1932) II. 367, I suppose you will be going to Streatham, to see quiet Mr. Hill & eat very bad Baker's bread. 1860 F. Nightingale Notes on Nursing vii. 42, I have known patients‥[who] could not eat baker's bread. 1964 M. Lochhead Vict. Househ. vii. 104 The women‥were‥good bakers.‥ Baker's bread was‥an extravagance.
6. baker's dozen: thirteen. (See last quot.)
1599 J. Cooke Tu Quoque in Dodsley O.P. (1780) VII. 49 Mine's a baker's dozen: Master Bubble, tell your money. 1611 in Florio. 1733 Fielding Quix. iii. vi, I dare swear there were a good round baker's dozen at least. 1859 Riley Liber Albus Pref. 68 These dealers‥[Hucksters] on purchasing their bread from the bakers, were privileged by law to receive thirteen batches for twelve, and this would seem to have been the extent of their profits. Hence the expression, still in use, ‘A baker's dozen.’