[lem-uh n]


the yellowish, acid fruit of a subtropical citrus tree, Citrus limon.
the tree itself.
Informal. a person or thing that proves to be defective, imperfect, or unsatisfactory; dud: His car turned out to be a lemon.


made of or with lemon.
having the color, taste, or odor of lemon.

Nearby words

  1. lemnian,
  2. lemniscate,
  3. lemniscus,
  4. lemnitzer,
  5. lemnos,
  6. lemon balm,
  7. lemon cheese,
  8. lemon drop,
  9. lemon fish,
  10. lemon geranium

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

Related formslem·on·ish, adjectivelem·on·like, lem·on·y, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lemon

British Dictionary definitions for lemon



a small Asian evergreen tree, Citrus limon, widely cultivated in warm and tropical regions, having pale green glossy leaves and edible fruitsRelated adjectives: citric, citrine, citrous
  1. the yellow oval fruit of this tree, having juicy acidic flesh rich in vitamin C
  2. (as modifier)a lemon jelly
Also called: lemon yellow
  1. a greenish-yellow or strong yellow colour
  2. (as adjective)lemon wallpaper
a distinctive tart flavour made from or in imitation of the lemon
slang a person or thing considered to be useless or defective
Derived Formslemonish, adjectivelemon-like, adjective

Word Origin for lemon

C14: from Medieval Latin lemōn-, from Arabic laymūn

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

Word Origin and History for lemon
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper