Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A traditional Chinese cuisine in which small portions of a variety of foods, including an assortment of steamed or fried dumplings, are served in succession.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Cantonese-style meal traditionally eaten in late morning or early afternoon comprising tea and food typically placed in small steamer baskets or on small plates and often served from carts that move around from table to table in a restaurant.
  • n. The food served at a dim sum meal, typically including dumplings, seafood and desserts.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. traditional Chinese cuisine; a variety of foods (including several kinds of steamed or fried dumplings) are served successively in small portions

Etymologies

Chinese (Cantonese) tímsam, light refreshments, equivalent to Chinese (Mandarin) diacaron.gifn, spot, drop + Chinese (Mandarin) xīn, heart.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Cantonese 點心 (dim2 sam1), Mandarin pinyin: diǎnxin/diǎnxīn). The derivation is unclear. means "dot, point" and means "heart" leading many to translate this "dim sum" as “touch the heart” or “dotted heart.” (Wiktionary)

Examples

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