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la·​dle ˈlā-dᵊl How to pronounce ladle (audio)
: a deep-bowled long-handled spoon used especially for dipping up and conveying liquids
: something resembling a ladle in form or function
ladleful noun


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ladled; ladling ˈlā-dᵊl-iŋ How to pronounce ladle (audio)

transitive verb

: to take up and convey in or as if in a ladle

Examples of ladle in a Sentence

Noun the chef looked around for a ladle to add the chicken broth to the pot Verb The soup was ladled into the bowls. ladling the wine into cups
Recent Examples on the Web
Then suddenly, the giant ladle is moving, swinging steadily toward the camera. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, 25 Jan. 2024 As for glassware, it should be judged by its relative likelihood of capturing the contents of the ladle. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 8 Dec. 2023 The most kinetic picture is a still life of enamelware — a common Keiffer subject — in which a cup, a ladle, a spoon and other objects appear to be floating downward through space toward several stacks of kindred containers. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 29 Dec. 2023 Continue to add more broth, a ladle or two at a time, ensuring the liquid is gently simmering and letting it get absorbed by the farro after each addition, until the farro is tender but still has a nice chew to it and its liquid is saucy, about 35 minutes. Ellie Krieger, Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2022 Accompanied by a Dutch oven, baking pan, ladle and spatula, plus a 3-year limited warranty, the Chef’s Package is a splurge-worthy gift that will keep giving for years. Anna Haines, Forbes, 11 Dec. 2023 In particular, older Americans are more likely to have a ladle, a strainer or colander, and a spatula or tongs. Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2023 In the meantime, stock up on crusty bread, dust off your ladles, and get in the kitchen with our favorite easy soup and stew recipes. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 1 Nov. 2023 The homewares pop-up started by stylist Beverly Nguyen first opened in April 2021 on the Lower East Side, selling ladles and woks sourced from local restaurant-supply stores in Chinatown alongside artisanal olive oil and fancy tea towels. Curbed, 22 Sep. 2023
The Holiday Bowl has ladled on more fan experiences as the game zigs and zags. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Dec. 2023 All that’s left to do is ladle the soup into bowls, add a dollop of sour cream, a handful of potato chips and a sprinkling of chives. Daniela Galarza, Washington Post, 28 Dec. 2023 At home, or at a more homey restaurant, it might be served ladled into a bowl. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 3 Dec. 2023 While constantly stirring, ladle in about ⅓ cup hot stock to rice. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 2 Dec. 2023 Part of a chain of homey brasseries around the city, this two-story location offers views over the bustling avenue below, and ladles out generous servings of French specialties like boeuf bourguignon, escargot, and hearty French onion soup. Sophie Dodd, Travel + Leisure, 29 Nov. 2023 Instead of simply ladling your soup into a bowl and digging in, try elevating it with the help of some special toppings or sides, Tucci explains. Ashia Aubourg, SELF, 2 Nov. 2023 Spoon gently: Use a large serving spoon to gently ladle the curd over the cranberry layer to avoid accidentally swirling the layers together. Marianne Williams, Southern Living, 20 Nov. 2023 To serve, ladle the venison stew into bowls and garnish with the parsley or chives. Jonathan Miles, Field & Stream, 15 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History



Middle English ladel, from Old English hlædel, from hladan

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1532, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ladle was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near ladle

Cite this Entry

“Ladle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
la·​dle ˈlād-ᵊl How to pronounce ladle (audio)
: a spoon or dipper with a long handle and a deep bowl used for dipping
ladleful noun


2 of 2 verb
ladled; ladling ˈlād-liŋ How to pronounce ladle (audio)
: to take up and carry in or as if in a ladle

More from Merriam-Webster on ladle

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