lemming

[ lem-ing ]
/ ˈlɛm ɪŋ /

noun

any of various small, mouselike rodents of the genera Lemmus, Myopus, and Dicrostonyx, of far northern regions, as L. lemmus, of Norway, Sweden, etc., noted for periodic mass migrations that sometimes result in mass drownings.

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Origin of lemming

1600–10; <Norwegian; cognate with Icelandic lǣmingi lemming, lǣmingr loon; akin to Gothic laian to revile, Icelandic to blame
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for lemming

British Dictionary definitions for lemming

lemming
/ (ˈlɛmɪŋ) /

noun

any of various volelike rodents of the genus Lemmus and related genera, of northern and arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and North America: family Cricetidae. The Scandinavian variety, Lemmus lemmus, migrates periodically when its population reaches a peak
a member of any large group following an unthinking course towards mass destruction

Derived forms of lemming

lemming-like, adjective

Word Origin for lemming

C17: from Norwegian; related to Latin latrāre to bark
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