dim sum

\ˈdim-ˈsəm \
plural dim sums also dim sum

Definition of dim sum 

: traditional Chinese food consisting of a variety of items (such as steamed or fried dumplings, pieces of cooked chicken, and rice balls) served in small portions

Examples of dim sum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Lunch is devoted to cross-cultural dim sum, with wrappers, fillings and sauces all made on site. Jay Cheshes, WSJ, "The Most Innovative Chefs in Lyon, France’s Gastronomic Capital," 24 July 2018 The Glossier pop-up was basically like dim sum for makeup. Beth Spotswood, San Francisco Chronicle, "Millennial-focused, makeup pop-up transforms SF deli," 17 Apr. 2018 The dim sum here is self-serve, meaning that every diner, sooner or later—and most more than once—makes her way to the corner where the towers of bamboo steamers stand. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Loud, Crowded, Grease-Stained, and Gloriously Drunk: Where the World Eats After Hours," 8 Oct. 2018 Moderate, though there’s a pleasant background hum and clatter of carts at peak dim sum hours. Kate Washington, sacbee, "Seafood is a real strength at this new dim-sum spot in Sacramento's central city | The Sacramento Bee," 25 May 2018 Some aspects of the dining scene up north surpass Los Angeles’, such as dim sum specialists and certain regional cuisines, both well-known (Hunan) and more specialized (Jiangxi). Clarissa Wei, San Francisco Chronicle, "How China and Taiwan now transmit food trends to California," 9 Feb. 2018 Once dim sum is available, it will also be sold through the fast-casual downstairs. Jonathan Kauffman, San Francisco Chronicle, "Straits Restaurant owners taking over historic Cathay House in Chinatown," 10 May 2018 How to speak a little Cantonese, master dim sum, and wear the right amount of flair. Kate Springer, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Essential Things to Know Before You Visit Hong Kong," 27 Feb. 2018 Three floors above, Chef Lo Kin-ming and his dim sum team prepare siu mai. Casey Quackenbush / Hong Kong, Time, "'We're Not Educated.' The Untold Story of Lung King Heen, the World's First Michelin Three-Star Chinese Restaurant," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dim sum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of dim sum

1948, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dim sum

Chinese (Guangdong) dímsām, from dím dot, speck + sām heart

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dim sum

Dictionary Entries near dim sum




dim sum

dim view



Statistics for dim sum

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dim sum

The first known use of dim sum was in 1948

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on dim sum

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dim sum

Comments on dim sum

What made you want to look up dim sum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a pattern of small flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!