dump·​ling ˈdəmp-liŋ How to pronounce dumpling (audio)
plural dumplings
: a small mass of dough cooked by boiling or steaming
chicken soup with dumplings
: a casing of dough enclosing a typically savory filling (such as meat or seafood) and cooked usually by boiling, steaming, or pan-frying see gyoza, pot sticker, wonton
: a usually baked dessert of fruit wrapped in dough
apple dumplings
: something soft and rounded like a dumpling
especially : a plump person or animal often of short stature
"I wanted to do it [rowing] because it was something I had never heard of. I was a little dumpling as well. I wanted to lose weight." Spencer Turrin, quoted in The Daily Telegraph (England)

Examples of dumpling in a Sentence

We had vegetarian dumplings as an appetizer.
Recent Examples on the Web Now visitors can pair sake flights from Virginia’s first sake brewery with noodles, dumplings and rice bowls. Shana Clarke, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Apr. 2024 Dim sum is a traditional Cantonese meal of dumplings and other bite-sized dishes. Brianna Taylor, Sacramento Bee, 23 Mar. 2024 The kitchen deploys just enough truffle oil to evoke the earth in the dumplings, plus shards of baked parmesan for some crackle. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 8 Mar. 2024 The dumplings in question were made on Dec. 7, 2023, and are packaged in 6-ounce boxes with plastic trays containing six dumplings. Karen Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 4 Mar. 2024 Teddy Wong’s is the hottest ticket in town right now for Peking duck or a variety of dumplings, including soup dumplings. Bud Kennedy, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 28 Mar. 2024 These oh-so-Southern chicken and dumplings take under an hour to prepare, and the dish is certainly worth the flavorful, hearty result. Jenna Sims, Southern Living, 22 Mar. 2024 Prepared foods included tamales, acai bowls and dumplings. Stephanie Breijo, Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2024 Trader Joe's has recalled more than 60,000 pounds of its steamed chicken soup dumplings due to some packages possibly containing plastic from a permanent marker, according to the USDA. Suzanne Nuyen, NPR, 4 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dumpling.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


perhaps alteration of lump

First Known Use

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of dumpling was in 1600

Dictionary Entries Near dumpling

Cite this Entry

“Dumpling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dumpling. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


dump·​ling ˈdəm-pliŋ How to pronounce dumpling (audio)
: a portion of dough cooked by boiling or steaming
: a dessert of fruit baked in biscuit dough

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