AskDefine | Define teaspoon

Dictionary Definition



1 a small spoon used for stirring tea or coffee; holds about one fluid dram
2 as much as a teaspoon will hold [syn: teaspoonful]

User Contributed Dictionary






  1. a small spoon used to stir the contents of a cup or glass.
  2. a unit of measure, worth one-third of a tablespoon or roughly five milliliters.


small spoon
  • Bosnian: kašičica, ližica
  • Chinese: 茶匙
  • Croatian: žličica
  • Czech: čajová lžička
  • Dutch: theelepeltje, theelepel, koffielepel (maybe only used in Belgium)
  • Estonian: teelusikas
  • Finnish: teelusikka
  • French: cuillère à café
  • German: Teelöffel
  • Greek: κουταλάκι του γλυκού
  • Italian: cucchiaino da tè
  • Japanese: ティースプーン
  • Korean: 찻숱가락
  • Lithuanian: šaukštelis, arbatinis šaukštelis
  • Maltese: kuċċarina
  • Serbian:
    Cyrillic: кашичица , лижица
    Roman: kašičica , ližica
  • Slovak: lyžička
  • Spanish: cucharilla
  • Swedish: tesked
  • Turkish: çay kaşığı
  • Portuguese: colher de chá
unit of measure
  • Greek: κουταλάκι του γλυκού
  • Spanish: cucharada de té
  • Swedish: teskedsmått
  • Portuguese: colher de chá

Extensive Definition

A teaspoon is a small spoon, or a spoon used in measuring, commonly used to stir the contents of a cup of tea or coffee. Teaspoons with longer handles are commonly used for ice cream. Other spoon sizes include the tablespoon and the dessert spoon. Much less common is the coffee spoon, which is a smaller version of the teaspoon. The tablespoon is a larger version of the teaspoon.

Measure of volume

In some countries, the teaspoon is also used as a unit of volume, especially in cooking recipes and pharmaceutic prescriptions. It is abbreviated in English as t. or tsp. (German and Dutch: TL, from Teelöffel or Theelepel). It is often taken to mean 5 ml; in some countries this value is even defined in law, for example in the USA in 21CFR101.9(b)(5)(viii). The same definition is used in some other English-speaking countries (e.g., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom). Older definitions included 1/6 U.S. fl. oz (4.93 mL) in the USA and 1/8 Imperial fl. oz (3.55 mL) in Britain.
A related unit is
1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons (4 in Australia)
Common teaspoons for stirring drinks are not always designed to contain any standard volume. In practice, they may hold between 2.5 mL and 6 mL of liquid, so caution must be exerted when using a teaspoon to measure a certain prescribed dose of a medicine. For this reason and in order to avoid dispensing errors, special measuring spoons are available that hold exactly 5 mL. The common teaspoon is always smaller then the tablespoon.
If a recipe calls for a teaspoon of a powder ingredient (salt, flour, etc.), this normally refers to an approximately levelled filling of the spoon, just like with liquids. For example, a teaspoon of salt for cooking purposes, is 5 mL or about 4.75 grams.
Some recipes also call for heaping (or heaped in British English) spoon measures. Such a heaping/heaped teaspoon, refers to an inexact volume of the required ingredient, obtained by scooping it up with a teaspoon and not levelling it off. The amount obtained by heaping a spoon can easily vary by more than a factor of two.
teaspoon in Azerbaijani: Çay qaşığı
teaspoon in Bulgarian: Чаена лъжичка
teaspoon in Danish: Teske
teaspoon in German: Essbesteck#L.C3.B6ffel
teaspoon in Spanish: Cucharadita
teaspoon in French: Cuillère à café
teaspoon in Indonesian: Sendok teh
teaspoon in Hebrew: כפית
teaspoon in Lithuanian: Arbatinis šaukštelis
teaspoon in Dutch: Theelepel
teaspoon in Norwegian: Teskje (mål)
teaspoon in Polish: Łyżeczka
teaspoon in Russian: Чайная ложка
teaspoon in Simple English: Teaspoon
teaspoon in Finnish: Teelusikka
teaspoon in Swedish: Tesked
teaspoon in Chinese: 茶匙
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