a rounded mass of steamed and seasoned dough, often served in soup or with stewed meat.
a dessert consisting of a wrapping of dough enclosing sliced apples or other fruit, boiled or baked.
a short or stout person.

1590–1600; dump (of uncertain origin) + -ling1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dumpling (ˈdʌmplɪŋ)
1.  a small ball of dough cooked and served with stew
2.  a pudding consisting of a round pastry case filled with fruit: apple dumpling
3.  informal a short plump person
[C16: dump-, perhaps variant of lump1 + -ling1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1600, Norfolk dial., of uncertain origin, perhaps from some Low German word or from obsolete noun dump "lump." Related: Dumplings.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


small mass of leavened dough that is either boiled or steamed and served in soups or stews or with fruit. Dumplings are most commonly formed from flour or meal bound with egg and then simmered in water or gravy stock until they take on a light, cakey texture. Many recipes call for herbs, onions, grated cheeses, or chopped meats to be rolled into the dough before cooking.

Learn more about dumpling with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Visitors can see dozens of traditional tea parlors, dumpling houses and food
  vendor carts scattered throughout the neighborhood.
They also know how to park themselves at the baseline and bang back every
  dumpling that comes over the net.
He had some gray hair cropped close as a sheep-eaten lawn, and his fingers
  ended in dumplings, each dumpling having a ring on it.
Using a pastry brush and a small bowl of water, place a dumpling skin in your
  palm with a tablespoon of filling in the middle.
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