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[tawr-tl-ee-nee; Italian tawr-tel-lee-nee] /ˌtɔr tlˈi ni; Italian ˌtɔr tɛlˈli ni/
plural noun, Italian Cookery.
small rounds of pasta, filled, as with a meat or cheese stuffing, and then shaped into rings and boiled: often served in broth or with a sauce.
Origin of tortellini
1905-10; < Italian, plural of tortellino, diminutive of tortello stuffed pastry, diminutive (with gender change) of torta cake; see torte
Usage note
See zucchini. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tortellini
  • His favorite color is red, and his favorite foods are blueberries and tortellini.
  • Menu items include spaghetti and meatballs, tortellini primavera and make-your-own pizzas or calzones.
  • Lunch and dinner menus have items such as tortellini with asparagus, linguini with red or white clam sauce and filet mignon.
  • Fresh tortellini comes with dozens of fillings that go well beyond the ordinary meat and cheese.
  • Also offering baked chicken, lasagna, ravioli and tortellini.
British Dictionary definitions for tortellini


pasta cut into small rounds, folded about a filling, and boiled
Word Origin
from Italian, diminutive of tortelli a type of pie, ultimately from Late Latin tōrta a round loaf or cake; see torte
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tortellini

1937, from Italian, plural of tortellino, diminutive of tortello "cake, fritter," itself a diminutive of torta (see torte).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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