noun, often attributive
pump·​kin | \ˈpəm(p)-kən, nonstandard ˈpəŋ-kən \

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

The most popular costume for dogs in 2017 was a pumpkin. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "18 Fascinating Things You Didn't Know About Halloween," 7 July 2018 For too long, fruity beers have been cloying, or overly fruity, or simply gross—the high-femme counterpoint to a pumpkin stout that no one asked for. Marian Bull, GQ, "Why You Need Fruity Beers in Your Cooler This Summer," 2 July 2018 Bees and other insects help pollinate foods like blueberries, chocolate, coffee, melons, peaches, pumpkins, vanilla, and almonds, according to the Pollinator Partnership. Gloria Casas, Elgin Courier-News, "Inaugural monarch festival raises butterfly awareness in Kane County," 23 June 2018 Deputies did find a plastic pumpkin with urine inside in the girl's room, according to the site. Scott Berson, miamiherald, "5-year-old was locked in her room - then was found dangling from the window, Minnesota cops say," 19 June 2018 The Bears will wear the orange duds — which some observers have likened to a pumpkin look for a franchise that's generally adhered to its traditional unis for most of its 99 seasons — at Miami on Oct. 14 and home against the Vikings on Nov. 18. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Chicago Bears bring back orange alternate jerseys for 2018 NFL season," 15 June 2018 Hanks’ Falstaff, padded to resemble a knighted pumpkin (the costumes are by Holly Poe Durbin), doesn’t overdo the buffoonery. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "Tom Hanks, Hamish Linklater and a 'Henry IV' worthy of applause," 10 June 2018 Racer’, this one has well-ribbed, blocky pumpkins, with strong handles. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, "The Hoosier Gardener: Race-themed plants cross the finish line," 25 May 2018 Even the lowly schoolbus, once striped in stars, becomes Olympic transport, a pumpkin transformed into Cinderella’s coach (if Cinderella is a track star). Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "Lessons from LA’s 1984 Summer Olympics," 17 May 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for pumpkin

Last Updated

23 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for pumpkin

The first known use of pumpkin was in 1664

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More Definitions for pumpkin


pump·​kin | \ˈpəmp-kən \

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 \

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

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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).


playful or foolish behavior

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