[ lem-uhn ]
See synonyms for lemon on Thesaurus.com
  1. the yellowish, acid fruit of a subtropical citrus tree, Citrus limon.

  2. the tree itself.

  1. Informal. a person or thing that proves to be defective, imperfect, or unsatisfactory; dud: His car turned out to be a lemon.

  1. made of or with lemon.

  2. having the color, taste, or odor of lemon.

Origin of lemon

1350–1400; 1905–10 for def. 4; <Medieval Latin lemōnium; replacing Middle English lymon<Medieval Latin līmō, (stem līmōn-) <Persian līmū, līmun

Other words from lemon

  • lem·on·ish, adjective
  • lem·on·like, lem·on·y, adjective

Words Nearby lemon

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use lemon in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for lemon


/ (ˈlɛmən) /

  1. a small Asian evergreen tree, Citrus limon, widely cultivated in warm and tropical regions, having pale green glossy leaves and edible fruits: Related adjectives: citric, citrine, citrous

    • the yellow oval fruit of this tree, having juicy acidic flesh rich in vitamin C

    • (as modifier): a lemon jelly

  1. Also called: lemon yellow

    • a greenish-yellow or strong yellow colour

    • (as adjective): lemon wallpaper

  2. a distinctive tart flavour made from or in imitation of the lemon

  3. slang a person or thing considered to be useless or defective

Origin of lemon

C14: from Medieval Latin lemōn-, from Arabic laymūn

Derived forms of lemon

  • lemonish, adjective
  • lemon-like, adjective

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