General English


  • noun a large round yellow vegetable, eaten both as a vegetable and in pies as a dessert


  • The various yellow to orange fruits of a vine, Cucurbita pepo, a member of the Cucurbitaceae family native to America. Pumpkins are usually used for decoration e.g. jack o’ lantern and Connecticut field cultivars. pumpkin pie is usually made from squash which have better cooking qualities; New England sugar however is a small pie pumpkin.

Origin & History of “pumpkin”

much as they look as though they had been blown up with a pump, pumpkins have no etymological connection with pumps. Greek pépōn denoted a variety of melon that was not eaten until it was fully ripe (the word was a noun use of the adjective pépōn ‘ripe’). Latin took it over as pepō, and passed it on to Old French as *pepon. through a series of vicissitudes this evolved via popon to early modern French pompon. This was borrowed into English in the 16th century, and soon altered to pompion; and in the 17th century the native diminutive suffix -kin was grafted on to it to produce pumpkin.