A gingerbread man is a biscuit or cookie made of gingerbread, usually in the shape of a stylized human, although other shapes, especially seasonal themes (Christmas, Halloween, Easter, etc.) and characters, are common.
Gingerbread dates from the 15th century, and figural biscuit-making was practiced in the 16th century. The first documented instance of figure-shaped gingerbread biscuits was at the court of Elizabeth I of England. She had the gingerbread figures made and presented in the likeness of some of her important guests.