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la·dle / ˈlādl/ • n. a large long-handled spoon with a cup-shaped bowl, used for serving soup, stew, or sauce. ∎  a vessel for transporting molten metal in a foundry.• v. [tr.] serve (soup, stew, or sauce) with a ladle: she ladled out onion soup fig. he was ladling out his personal philosophy of life. ∎  transfer (liquid) from one receptacle to another.DERIVATIVES: la·dle·ful / -ˌfoŏl/ n. (pl. -fuls) la·dler n.