dump·​ling | \ˈdəmp-liŋ \

Definition of dumpling 

1a : a small mass of dough cooked by boiling or steaming

b : a usually baked dessert of fruit wrapped in dough

2 : something soft and rounded like a dumpling especially : a short fat person or animal

Examples of dumpling in a Sentence

We had vegetarian dumplings as an appetizer.

Recent Examples on the Web

YuMi’s robots also help make watches for Swiss watchmakers and box takeout dumplings in a Tokyo restaurant, said Per Vegard Nerseth, managing director of ABB’s robotics division. Natasha Khan, WSJ, "Your Next Robot Encounter: Dinner, Drinks and a Massage," 9 June 2018 The menu also has a few pizzas and pastas, like a margherita pizza with tomato, mozzarella and preserved giardinera, ricotta dumplings, and a Dungeness crab tagliolini. Grace Wong, chicagotribune.com, "Just Opened: Pacific Standard Time channels California spirit in River North," 2 May 2018 Delicate dumpling skins are wrapped around juicy pork fillings (or, in fancier iterations, crab), with shots of steaming broth. Maura Kutner Walters, Town & Country, "The 10 Things Every First-Time Visitor Must Do in Shanghai," 3 Oct. 2014 The dumpling, the taco, and the pan of paella, for example, all had extremely popular backing. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "Tacos, dumplings, bagels: the complicated politics of food emoji," 5 Oct. 2018 Lim added more culturally specific scenes where the characters gather to craft dumplings or confront each other over mahjong. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "How Crazy Rich Asians turns a traditional Asian rom-com trope into a modern statement," 18 Aug. 2018 Shi illustrated the recipe for the perfect Bao and shared the instructions with TIME—though these versions of the dumplings won’t come to life. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Here's the Tasty Recipe for the Bao From Pixar's Charming New Short Bao," 14 June 2018 Chive and shrimp dumplings, too, threatened to fall apart. 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 The magical journey of a 10-year-old girl includes an assortment of spirits, a witch, a magic dumpling and a sense of fear and discovery. Peter Hartlaub, SFChronicle.com, "Animated classic ‘Spirited Away’ comes to Balboa Theatre," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dumpling.' 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 dumpling

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for dumpling

perhaps alteration of lump

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dumpling

Statistics for dumpling

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dumpling

The first known use of dumpling was circa 1600

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dumpling



English Language Learners Definition of dumpling

: a small lump of dough that is boiled or steamed

: a piece of food that is wrapped in dough and cooked


dump·​ling | \ˈdəmp-liŋ \

Kids Definition of dumpling

1 : a small amount of dough cooked by boiling or steaming

2 : a dessert of fruit wrapped in dough

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dumpling

Spanish Central: Translation of dumpling

Nglish: Translation of dumpling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dumpling

Comments on dumpling

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


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!