lemma

noun (1)
lem·​ma | \ ˈle-mə How to pronounce lemma (audio) \
plural lemmas or lemmata\ ˈle-​mə-​tə How to pronounce lemma (audio) \

Definition of lemma

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an auxiliary proposition used in the demonstration of another proposition
2 : the argument or theme of a composition prefixed as a title or introduction also : the heading or theme of a comment or note on a text
3 : a glossed word or phrase

lemma

noun (2)

Definition of lemma (Entry 2 of 2)

: the lower of the two bracts enclosing the flower in the spikelet of grasses

First Known Use of lemma

Noun (1)

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1906, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lemma

Noun (1)

Latin, from Greek lēmma thing taken, assumption, from lambanein to take — more at latch

Noun (2)

Greek, husk, from lepein to peel — more at leper

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Cite this Entry

“Lemma.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lemma. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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