Definition of pumpkin in US English:



  • 1A large rounded orange-yellow fruit with a thick rind, edible flesh, and many seeds.

    • ‘As far as vegies go it's a great time to get in sweetcorn, tomatoes, butternut pumpkins, rockmelons and watermelons.’
    • ‘Roses and vegetables such as pumpkins, zucchinis and cucumbers are still being affected by the fungus, powdery mildew.’
    • ‘Today we're producing rice, beans, cassava, pumpkins, passion fruit and other crops.’
    • ‘The average small farmer in Chiapas, Mexico, for example, produces maize, squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, numerous vegetables, fruits and medicinal plants.’
    • ‘Sonoma County shimmers this month with fields full of red and gold grapevines and fat orange pumpkins.’
    • ‘Sweet potatoes, beans, pumpkins, and tropical fruits such as bananas and papayas are also grown.’
    • ‘Cassava, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes are native to the islands, and a variety of seafood is found in the surrounding waters.’
    • ‘Butternut squash, cheese pumpkins and sweet potatoes are stored in an old grain bin lined with spray-foam insulation and fitted with a propane heater and a humidifier.’
    • ‘Bright orange pumpkins decorated the front porch and strands of little white lights were wrapped tastefully in the bushes and around the front door.’
    • ‘Plump orange pumpkins are clustered on brick steps along with a scattering of reddish liquidambar leaves.’
    • ‘You marvel that it can grow such lush grass, such brilliantly green and orange fields of pumpkins and tall stands of trees.’
    • ‘Remove the flesh from the pumpkin skin with a spoon.’
    • ‘Not only does it fill in the sky at sunrise or sunset to add striking beauty, but its color is carded in carrots, pumpkins, oranges, mangoes, and papayas, which all are full of essential vitamins.’
    • ‘Her eyes widened when she saw the bright orange pumpkins, the ripe yellow bananas, silks with colors that she had never before seen.’
    • ‘There were some wonderful Halloween decorations entered into the monthly raffle with seasonal fare such as pumpkins and fruit.’
    • ‘Even with my eyes closed, lying face down on the ground, all I could see was orange pumpkins.’
    • ‘Golden butternut squash, robust orange pumpkins, crunchy red and green apples - fall produce is downright gorgeous, not to mention delectable.’
    • ‘While there isn't any cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes or pumpkin pie to be had, there is plenty of brandy, gin, and wine on hand.’
    • ‘The last bees of the year are buzzing, pumpkins are ripening orange, and the birds are sitting on telegraph wires, considering following many Hamptons' residents south to Palm Beach for the winter.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the after-school gardening club has been working hard growing prize-winning fruit and vegetables, including tomatoes, sweetcorn and pumpkins.’
    1. 1.1North American informal Used as an affectionate term of address, especially to a child.
      ‘listen, pumpkin, I thought you ought to know’
      • ‘Take it from your Aunt Hillary, that this is not the business deal for you, my little pumpkin.’
  • 2The plant of the gourd family that produces pumpkins, having tendrils and large lobed leaves and native to warm regions of America.

    Genus Cucurbita, family Cucurbitaceae: several species, in particular C. pepo

    • ‘The Mediterranean vegetable garden includes an old water tank as well as displays of rosemary, thyme, pumpkins, figs, globe artichokes, olives and grapevines.’
    • ‘Sometimes pumpkins or gourds are planted instead of squash.’
    • ‘Others prefer a natural look, arranging squashes, gourds, pumpkins and other spheroid Cucurbita in a pastoral style.’
    • ‘Both sides of this versatile trellis are used, and it can be made sturdy enough to support heavy crops such as gourds and pumpkins.’
    • ‘We've bought loads of plants and seeds; pumpkins, runner beans, potatoes, strawberries, carrots, cabbages.’
    • ‘You can place all gourds, pumpkins, or apples in separate containers, sprinkling the leaves and acorns about as desired, or you may prefer to mix them all together.’
    • ‘Care should be taken to separate as widely as possible, melons, squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, and others of that family, as any one grown near the other may ruin both as to flavor.’
    • ‘Fall is the season for other chores, such as buying back-to-school clothes, raking leaves and picking pumpkins.’
    • ‘This is a region where one field can produce pumpkins, clover and maize, as well as, of course, grapes.’
    • ‘I just noticed this morning that the pumpkin I planted eons ago has finally sprouted in a major way.’
    • ‘Warm climate pumpkins, this large squash is bright orange, but it can be found with green, yellow, or cream-colored skin.’
    • ‘The farms of Nixons, Swantons, Alex's, Stranos and Newlands roads are growing a variety of crops including sugar cane, peanuts, tomatoes, melons, pumpkins and maize.’
    • ‘The slides portrayed late September and October when the trees were in their full autumnal colours, and all the luscious pumpkins and gourds had ripened.’
    • ‘Plants such as the pumpkin orange Cape honeysuckle and the Leonotis are well known.’
    • ‘This year we no-till planted corn and pumpkins into hairy vetch, and soybeans into a variety of grains, with rye working the best.’
    • ‘In mid - to late summer, squash bugs feed on pumpkins, cucumbers, squash, watermelons and even raspberries.’
    • ‘Gourds, pumpkins, cucumbers and all their allied species dominated.’
    • ‘Close cousins to the pumpkin - gourds and squash - were also pressed into service, and we finally had enough for our cover photo and story.’
    • ‘A smashed pumpkin mingled with the leaves, its guts strewn about the street.’
    • ‘When the Irish immigrants arrived in America, they found pumpkins abundant and much easier to carve than turnips.’


Late 17th century: alteration of earlier pumpion, from obsolete French pompon, via Latin from Greek pepōn ‘large melon’ (see pepo).