la·​dle | \ ˈlā-dᵊl How to pronounce ladle (audio) \

Definition of ladle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a deep-bowled long-handled spoon used especially for dipping up and conveying liquids
2 : something resembling a ladle in form or function


ladled; ladling\ ˈlād-​liŋ How to pronounce ladle (audio) , ˈlā-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of ladle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

Other Words from ladle


ladleful \ ˈlā-​dᵊl-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce ladle (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for ladle

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of ladle in a Sentence

Noun the chef hunted 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: Noun This isn’t the stuff you might be used to — no thick hamburger stacked over rice and sunny side up eggs with a ladle of brown gravy. Cesar Hernandez, San Francisco Chronicle, 25 July 2022 Remove from the heat With a ladle in one hand and a whisk in another, drizzle a small amount of the heated liquid into the egg mixture while whisking. Ann Maloney, Washington Post, 24 June 2022 Ladle or pour the batter onto a griddle using Using a 1-cup-sized ladle or measuring cup for large cakes or1/4 cup for small. Elijah Rawls, Men's Health, 22 June 2022 A half-dozen bacci rolls, a half-dozen cookies, an ornate ladle for longterm use, and a personalized note card add a nice, necessary touch. Ysolt Usigan, Woman's Day, 24 May 2022 They are ordered cafeteria-style, by pointing or shouting one’s order to an expectant worker with a ladle. New York Times, 2 May 2022 Then a captain tops sundaes with a ladle of cherries and syrup before covering the ice cream with toasted almonds. Andy Wang, Robb Report, 6 Apr. 2022 On his quest for light, the raven first turns into a speck of dirt, hoping to be scooped up in the drinking ladle of the nobleman’s daughter. Sarah Smith, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Mar. 2022 The huge portion of birria arrives on a rimmed plate, with a ladle of deeply savory consommé poured on top. Nick Kindelsperger,, 7 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Let cool to room temperature, then ladle into pint jars or other airtight containers and refrigerate 24 hours. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 24 Aug. 2021 Divide the cooked fish evenly among bowls, then ladle in the soup. Bonnie Morales, Washington Post, 13 July 2022 Transfer the mussels to individual serving bowls, and pour or ladle some of the sauce from the pot, sprinkle with the parsley, if using, and drizzle with extra oil, if desired. Washington Post, 3 May 2022 Add a portion of wheat noodles and beef shank to each bowl, and ladle enough broth to cover. Danny Chau, The New Yorker, 13 Mar. 2022 Set six ovenproof or ramekins on a heavy baking sheet and ladle the soup into the crocks. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 4 Feb. 2022 To serve, ladle the soup and vegetables into serving bowls. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 1 Feb. 2022 Cook the noodles per package instructions, transfer to bowls, and ladle the stew over the top. Beth Segal, cleveland, 7 Jan. 2022 Remove from the heat, ladle into bowls and serve hot. Washington Post, 6 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of ladle


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


circa 1532, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ladle


Middle English ladel, from Old English hlædel, from hladan

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best slow cookers.

Learn More About ladle

Time Traveler for ladle

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near ladle



ladle in

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ladle

Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ladle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for ladle


la·​dle | \ ˈlā-dᵊl How to pronounce ladle (audio) \

Kids Definition of ladle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a large and deep spoon with a long handle that is used especially for serving liquids a soup ladle


ladled; ladling

Kids Definition of ladle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to take up and carry in a ladle

More from Merriam-Webster on ladle

Nglish: Translation of ladle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ladle for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ladle


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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