- 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.
Origin of lemming
Examples from the Web for lemming
“You become a lemming in a big scary world,” says Zbitnoff of making the transition.Katie Might Be Able to Leave Tom—but Divorcing Scientology Won’t Be Easy
July 4, 2012
I observed every where about the sides of the hills holes dug by the Lemming Rat.Lachesis Lapponica
Carl von Linn
Mr. Crotch has thrown new light on some of the habits of the lemming.
Within three days Asgard the Beautiful was left to the lemming and the raven.Days of the Discoverers
A new theory has been broached to explain the migrations of the Norway lemming, a variety of field mouse.
No conceivable advantage to the lemming is known to have ever resulted from these long and arduous marches.
- 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
Word Origin and History for lemming
small arctic rodent, c.1600, from Norwegian lemming, from Old Norse lomundr "lemming." Perhaps from Lapp luomek. Figurative sense (in reference to their mass migrations that sometimes end in plunges into the sea) is from 1958.