lemming

play
noun lem·ming \ˈle-miŋ\

Definition of lemming

  1. :  any of various small short-tailed furry-footed rodents (such as genera Lemmus and Dicrostonyx) of circumpolar distribution that are notable for population fluctuations and recurrent mass migrations <Lemmings are the locusts of mammals, and they will strip a habitat bare. Then, they begin migrating forward to find a new feeding ground, swarming over boulders, around trees, whatever stands in their way. If they run into a body of water, they try to swim across. — Natalie Angier>

lemminglike

play \ˈle-miŋ-ˌlīk\ adjective <Lured by stock prices defying gravity and handsome bond yields, Americans have marched into the funds in lemminglike fashion. — Penelope Wang and David Pauly>

Origin and Etymology of lemming

Norwegian


First Known Use: 1713


LEMMING Defined for English Language Learners

lemming

play
noun lem·ming \ˈle-miŋ\

Definition of lemming for English Language Learners

  • : a small animal that lives in northern areas of North America, Europe, and Asia



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