- a plant, Allium cepa, of the amaryllis family, having an edible, succulent, pungent bulb.
- any of certain similar plants.
- the bulb of the onion plant.
- the flavor or odor of this bulb.
- Slang. a person: He's a tough onion.
- containing or cooked with onions: onion soup.
- of, relating to, or resembling an onion.
- know one's onions, Slang. to know one's subject or business thoroughly; be capable or proficient.
Origin of onion
Examples from the Web for onion
Combine the beans and onion sauce in a 9x9-inch casserole dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.Make Carla Hall’s Crispy Shallot Green Bean Casserole
December 27, 2014
Onion routers refers to the TOR network, a system that allows users to mask their location and communicate anonymously online.ISIS Keeps Getting Better at Dodging U.S. Spies
Shane Harris, Noah Shachtman
November 14, 2014
Instead, it reminded me of a headline that once ran in The Onion: “Drunken Man Makes Interesting Point About Society.”Karen Armstrong’s New Rule: Religion Isn’t Responsible for Violence
October 29, 2014
I confess a particular weakness for his chocolate biscuits and pork pate with onion marmalade.Imagining Prince Charles as King Makes All of Britain Wish They Could Leave Like Scotland
September 17, 2014
Rub pork loin with paprika, Cajun seasoning, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, salt, and pepper.Epic Meal Empire’s Meat Monstrosities: From the Bacon Spider to the Cinnabattleship
July 26, 2014
The big fellows at the clubs always had a wad and peeled off bills like skin off an onion.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
If there is a poisonous one among them, the onion will turn black.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
Chop up a stick of celery, a sprig of parsley, a carrot, an onion.The Cook's Decameron: A Study in Taste:
Mrs. W. G. Waters
A little cold meat may be added if you have it.103 Onion Soup.Culture and Cooking
There is, one must admit, a certain association of vulgarity with the onion.Storyology</p>
- an alliaceous plant, Allium cepa, having greenish-white flowers: cultivated for its rounded edible bulb
- the bulb of this plant, consisting of concentric layers of white succulent leaf bases with a pungent odour and taste
- any of several related plants similar to A. cepa, such as A. fistulosum (Welsh onion)
- know one's onions British slang to be fully acquainted with a subject
Word Origin and History for onion
early 12c., from Anglo-French union, Old French oignon "onion" (formerly also oingnon), and directly from Latin unionem (nominative unio), colloquial rustic Roman for "a kind of onion," also "pearl" (via notion of a string of onions), literally "one, unity;" sense connection is the successive layers of an onion, in contrast with garlic or cloves.
Old English had ynne (in ynne-leac), from the same Latin source, which also produced Irish inniun, Welsh wynwyn and similar words in Germanic. In Dutch, the ending in -n was mistaken for a plural inflection and new singular ui formed. The usual Indo-European name is represented by Greek kromion, Irish crem, Welsh craf, Old English hramsa, Lithuanian kremuse.
The usual Latin word was cepa, a loan from an unknown language; it is the source of Old French cive, Old English cipe, and, via Late Latin diminutive cepulla, Italian cipolla, Spanish cebolla, Polish cebula. German Zwiebel also is from this source, but altered by folk etymology in Old High German (zwibolla) from words for "two" and "ball." Onion ring is attested from 1952.
Onion dome attested from 1956; onion grass from 1883; onion skin as a type of paper from 1892. Onions, the surname, is attested from mid-12c. (Ennian), from Old Welsh Enniaun, ultimately from Latin Annianus, which was associated with Welsh einion "anvil."