[mel-uh n]


the fruit of any of various plants of the gourd family, as the muskmelon or watermelon.
medium crimson or deep pink.
the visible upper portion of the head of a surfacing whale or dolphin, including the beak, eyes, and blowhole.
  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.

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

Related Words for melons

cantaloupe, gourd, papaya, watermelon, musk, casaba, honeydew, nutmeg, pepo

Examples from the Web for melons

Contemporary Examples of melons

  • One observer recalled them hitting the ground “like melons,” as the music piped into the plaza played “How Deep Is Your Love?”

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Resilient City: New York After 9/11

    John Avlon

    September 11, 2014

Historical Examples of melons

  • Casaba melons may be served in the same ways as cantaloupes.

    Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5

    Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences

  • The melons are excellent; the omelets are wonders, and the salads something to be remembered.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • The seeds of water-melons are placed like those of the French melons.

    The History of Louisiana

    Le Page Du Pratz

  • A newspaper is a market Where wisdom sells its freedom And melons are crowned by the crowd.

    War is Kind

    Stephen Crane

  • He is a good farmer, and he will catch on to the melons pretty quick.

British Dictionary definitions for melons



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

Word Origin for melon

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 melons



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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper