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melon

[mel-uh n]
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noun
  1. the fruit of any of various plants of the gourd family, as the muskmelon or watermelon.
  2. medium crimson or deep pink.
  3. the visible upper portion of the head of a surfacing whale or dolphin, including the beak, eyes, and blowhole.
  4. Informal.
    1. a large extra dividend, often in the form of stock, to be distributed to stockholders: Profits zoomed so in the last quarter that the corporation cut a nice melon.
    2. any windfall of money to be divided among specified participants.
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Origin of melon

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin mēlōn- (stem of mēlō), short for mēlopepō < Greek mēlopépōn apple-shaped melon, equivalent to mêlo(n) apple + pépōn pepo
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for melon

melon

noun
  1. any of several varieties of two cucurbitaceous vines, cultivated for their edible fruitSee muskmelon, watermelon
  2. the fruit of any of these plants, which has a hard rind and juicy flesh
  3. cut a melon US and Canadian slang to declare an abnormally high dividend to shareholders
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Word Origin

C14: via Old French from Late Latin mēlo, shortened form of mēlopepō, from Greek mēlopepōn, from mēlon apple + pepōn gourd
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 melon

n.

late 14c., from Old French melon (13c.), from Medieval Latin melonem (nominative melo), from Latin melopeponem, a kind of pumpkin, from Greek melopepon "gourd-apple" (name for several kinds of gourds bearing sweet fruit), from melon "apple" (see malic) + pepon, a kind of gourd, probably noun use of pepon "ripe" (see pumpkin).

In Greek, melon was used in a generic way for all foreign fruits (cf. similar use of apple). The Greek plural of "melon" was used from ancient times for "a girl's breasts."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper