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lemma

1
[ lem-uh ]
/ ˈlɛm ə /
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noun, plural lem·mas, lem·ma·ta [lem-uh-tuh]. /ˈlɛm ə tə/.
a subsidiary proposition introduced in proving some other proposition; a helping theorem.
an argument, theme, or subject, especially when indicated in a heading.
a word or phrase that is glossed; headword.
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Origin of lemma

1
1560–70; <Latin: theme, title, epigram <Greek lêmma something received, premise, akin to lambánein to take, receive, take for granted

Other definitions for lemma (2 of 2)

lemma2
[ lem-uh ]
/ ˈlɛm ə /

noun, plural lem·mas.Botany.
a bract in a grass spikelet just below the pistil and stamens.

Origin of lemma

2
1745–55; <Greek lémma shell, husk, akin to lépein to peel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use lemma in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for lemma (1 of 2)

lemma1
/ (ˈlɛmə) /

noun plural -mas or -mata (-mətə)
a subsidiary proposition, proved for use in the proof of another proposition
linguistics a word considered as its citation form together with all the inflected forms. For example, the lemma go consists of go together with goes, going, went, and gone
an argument or theme, esp when used as the subject or title of a composition

Word Origin for lemma

C16 (meaning: proposition), C17 (meaning: title, theme): via Latin from Greek: premise, from lambanein to take (for granted)

British Dictionary definitions for lemma (2 of 2)

lemma2
/ (ˈlɛmə) /

noun plural -mas or -mata (-mətə)
the outer of two bracts surrounding each floret in a grass spikeletCompare palea

Word Origin for lemma

C19: from Greek: rind, from lepein to peel
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

Scientific definitions for lemma

lemma
[ lĕmə ]

Plural lemmas lemmata (lĕmə-tə)
The outer or lower of the two bracts enclosing one of the flowers within a grass spikelet.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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