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a shallow, round bowl with one or two flat, horizontal handles set on opposite sides of the rim and, usually, a shallow lid. In recent usage, the word has also been used to refer to late 16th- and early 17th-century English silver vessels of cylindrical form with two vertical scroll handles. The precise purpose of porringers, or ecuelles, as they are known in France, is in dispute; but it is thought that they were used to hold broth or gruel.