lemming

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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

Recent Examples of lemming from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lemming'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of lemming

Norwegian


LEMMING Defined for English Language Learners

lemming

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noun

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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