noun \ˈən-yən\

: a round vegetable that is usually white, yellow, or red and has a strong smell and taste

Full Definition of ONION

:  a widely cultivated Asian herb (Allium cepa) of the lily family with pungent edible bulbs; also :  its bulb
:  any of various plants of the same genus as the onion
on·iony \-yə-nē\ adjective

Examples of ONION

  1. The recipe calls for chopped onions.
  2. He is growing onions in the garden this year.
  3. The recipe calls for chopped onion.

Origin of ONION

Middle English, from Anglo-French oignon, from Latin union-, unio
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with ONION


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Onion (Allium cepa)—Walter Chandoha

Herbaceous biennial plant (Allium cepa) of the family Alliaceae, probably native to southwestern Asia but now grown worldwide, and its edible bulb. Among the hardiest and oldest garden vegetable plants, onions bear a cluster of small, greenish white flowers on one or more leafless stalks. The leaf bases swell to form the underground mature edible onion. Onions are pungent; because they contain a sulfur-rich volatile oil, peeling or slicing them can bring tears to a person's eyes. Onions vary in size, shape, colour, and pungency. Though low in standard nutrients, they are valued for their flavour. Onions have been claimed to cure colds, earaches, and laryngitis and have been used to treat animal bites, powder burns, and warts; like their close relative garlic, they are being studied for other suspected beneficial qualities. See also allium.


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