Pudding most often refers to a dessert, but it can also be a savory dish. In the United States, pudding characteristically denotes a sweet milk-based dessert similar in consistency to egg-based custards, though it may also refer to other types such as bread and rice pudding.
In the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth countries, pudding refers to rich, fairly homogeneous starch- or dairy-based desserts such as rice pudding and Christmas pudding, or, informally, any sweet dish after the main course. The word pudding in this context is also used as a synonym for the dessert course. The word is also used for savory dishes such as Yorkshire pudding, black pudding, suet pudding and steak and kidney pudding.
The word pudding is believed to come from the French boudin, originally from the Latin botellus, meaning “small sausage,” referring to encased meats used in Medieval European puddings.