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[mel-uh n] /ˈmɛl ən/
the fruit of any of various plants of the gourd family, as the muskmelon or watermelon.
medium crimson or deep pink.
the visible upper portion of the head of a surfacing whale or dolphin, including the beak, eyes, and blowhole.
  1. a large extra dividend, often in the form of stock, to be distributed to stockholders:
    Profits zoomed so in the last quarter that the corporation cut a nice melon.
  2. any windfall of money to be divided among specified participants.
Origin of melon
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin mēlōn- (stem of mēlō), short for mēlopepō < Greek mēlopépōn apple-shaped melon, equivalent to mêlo(n) apple + pépōn pepo Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for melons
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • melons and pastecs, or water-melons, are here delicious, and the food of the common people.

    Four Years in France Henry Digby Beste
  • I will pay double price for all the melons, if you will let me go.

    In School and Out Oliver Optic
  • Of pumpkins and melons several sorts grow naturally in the woods, and serve for feeding Camels.

    Thalaba the Destroyer Robert Southey
  • In everything but melons, and criticism of your neighbor, eh?

  • Many of them have small gardens where melons and sweet potatoes are sure to be found.

    Little Folks of North America Mary Hazelton Wade
  • If you want to turn the laugh, I'll tell you how, but you must give up the melons.

    Little Men Louisa May Alcott
  • When fresh and perfectly ripe, melons are among the most delicious of edible fruits.

    Science in the Kitchen. Mrs. E. E. Kellogg
  • It spoilt the fun, and the entire disappearance of the melons made them uneasy.

    Little Men Louisa May Alcott
  • All was destroyed; the walks, the fine vegetable-beds, the plantations of pines and melons--all had vanished.

British Dictionary definitions for melons


any of several varieties of two cucurbitaceous vines, cultivated for their edible fruit See muskmelon, watermelon
the fruit of any of these plants, which has a hard rind and juicy flesh
(US & Canadian, slang) cut a melon, to declare an abnormally high dividend to shareholders
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Late Latin mēlo, shortened form of mēlopepō, from Greek mēlopepōn, from mēlon apple + pepōn gourd
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for melons



late 14c., from Old French melon (13c.), from Medieval Latin melonem (nominative melo), from Latin melopeponem, a kind of pumpkin, from Greek melopepon "gourd-apple" (name for several kinds of gourds bearing sweet fruit), from melon "apple" (see malic) + pepon, a kind of gourd, probably noun use of pepon "ripe" (see pumpkin).

In Greek, melon was used in a generic way for all foreign fruits (cf. similar use of apple). The Greek plural of "melon" was used from ancient times for "a girl's breasts."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for melons



A woman's breasts, esp large •Usu objectionable: the melons on that girl



The sum of profits, loot, etc, to be divided: The stockholders have a meager melon to share this year (1906+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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