noun, often attributive
pump·​kin | \ ˈpəm(p)-kən How to pronounce pumpkin (audio) , nonstandard ˈpəŋ-kən How to pronounce pumpkin (audio) \

Definition of pumpkin

1a : a fruit of any of various cultivars of herbaceous plants (Cucurbita pepo, C. maxima, C. moschata, and C. mixta synonym C. argyrosperma) of the gourd family that is typically round and orange but may be another color or shape, that has a hard usually smooth skin with shallow longitudinal grooves, and that is grown for ornamental use or for its fibrous pale flesh used especially in baking or as feed for livestock
b : any of several annual chiefly trailing American plants that bear pumpkins
2 : a strong orange color

Examples of pumpkin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Meiborg visited regularly, bringing flowers on her daughter’s birthday, mini pumpkins on the Oct. 14 anniversary of Amanda’s death and ornaments around Christmas. John Keilman, chicagotribune.com, "After daughter’s memorial tree was unexpectedly taken down, mom received support from friends and strangers. Now two trees will honor teen’s life.," 10 July 2019 Stop in at The Coal Pot Restaurant for authentic Lucian dishes like saltfish and breadfruit and St. Lucian Crab Back and pumpkin soup. Anquanette Gaspard, Essence, "Live It Up: Get On Badder Than Bad at St. Lucia Carnival 2019," 9 July 2019 The only time Bonnie almost folds is when Mary Louise surprises the moms at Madeline’s house (my favourite frenemies — Mary Louise is still winning) during a pumpkin carving session. Morgan Baila, refinery29.com, "Big Little Lies Season 2, Episode 4 Recap: The Door’s Hinged," 4 July 2019 Acorn to butternut, spaghetti to pumpkin, this trusty crop has been the star throughout all of your autumn dinners, from a speedy weeknight dish to the ultimate Thanksgiving veggie side. Becca Miller, Good Housekeeping, "Is Squash a Fruit or a Vegetable?," 1 July 2019 Actually a purple-blue with a naturally waxy coating that makes the skin appear a bit bluer, contrasting nicely with the pumpkin-orange flesh. Kenneth Setzer, sun-sentinel.com, "What is the mysterious blue mango?," 25 June 2019 The book is packed with glossy photos of stomping dinosaurs, belly-flopping whales, colossal squid and even prodigious pumpkins. Riley Black, WSJ, "‘Nature’s Giants’ and ‘Superlative’ Review: Wild, Wilder, Wildest," 21 June 2019 These days the estranged husband of Jennifer Dulos has traded in his swanky suits for pumpkin-orange prison wear. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "Estranged husband of missing Connecticut mom has history of loan defaults, business complaints," 6 June 2019 Eat like one too: Taste zik’il pak (a light, hummus-like pumpkin seed spread) at Yerbabuena del Sisal. National Geographic, "Visit these breathtaking underwater caves in the Yucatán Peninsula," 31 May 2019

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

1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for pumpkin

alteration of earlier pumpion, modification of French popon, pompon melon, pumpkin, from Latin pepon-, pepo, from Greek pepōn, from pepōn ripened; akin to Greek pessein to cook, ripen — more at cook

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pumpkin

Statistics for pumpkin

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pumpkin

The first known use of pumpkin was in 1664

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pumpkin


pump·​kin | \ ˈpəmp-kən How to pronounce pumpkin (audio) \

Kids Definition of pumpkin

: a usually large round orange fruit of a vine related to the squash and cucumber that is used for food or decoration


pump·​kin | \ ˈpəm(p)-kən How to pronounce pumpkin (audio) \

Medical Definition of pumpkin

: the usually round orange fruit of a vine (Cucurbita pepo) of the gourd family that is widely cultivated as food and is the source of pepo

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pumpkin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pumpkin

Spanish Central: Translation of pumpkin

Nglish: Translation of pumpkin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pumpkin for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pumpkin

Comments on pumpkin

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


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Bee Cubed

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!