lem·​on | \ ˈle-mən How to pronounce lemon (audio) \

Definition of lemon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an acid fruit that is botanically a many-seeded pale yellow oblong berry produced by a small thorny citrus tree (Citrus limon) and that has a rind from which an aromatic oil is extracted
b : a tree that bears lemons
2 : something (such as an automobile) that is unsatisfactory or defective



Definition of lemon (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of the color lemon yellow
2a : containing lemon
b : having the flavor or scent of lemon

Illustration of lemon

Illustration of lemon


lemon 1: branch with fruit and flowers

In the meaning defined above

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Examples of lemon in a Sentence

Noun The recipe calls for the juice of two lemons. Garnish it with a slice of lemon. Our new car is a lemon.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun First there's the chicken, fat pieces that have been rubbed in yogurt and lemon juice with some feisty char marks from the grill. Andi Berlin, The Arizona Republic, "Hana House is north Phoenix's new destination for grilled kebabs and stellar appetizers," 10 May 2021 The dinner features a salad of baby spinach, pine nuts and goat cheese, cacio e pepe, oven roasted white fish and lemon pistachio panna cotta for dessert. Zareen Syed, chicagotribune.com, "Hinsdale Restaurant Week returns May 14 with diverse lineup of casual to fine dining options," 10 May 2021 Using a vegetable peeler, shave cucumber into ribbons; toss with lemon dressing. Kate Merker, Country Living, "Eggplant Burgers with Yogurt-Feta Sauce and Quick Pickled Cucumbers," 7 May 2021 Here, a whimsical motif of lemon trees, flowers, and butterflies invites a plethora of additional patterns for throw pillows and upholstery. Krissa Rossbund, Better Homes & Gardens, "Cool Colors and Whimsical Patterns Make a Splash in This 1970s Home," 7 May 2021 Dishes include early summer pappardelle, lobster and Meyer lemon risotto and lamb chops Scottadito. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Mother’s Day 2021: 15 San Diego brunch and dinner spots where you can celebrate Mom," 5 May 2021 In a large bowl, stir together the salt, ricotta, Parmesan, egg and lemon zest until evenly combined. Washington Post, "This ricotta gnocchi recipe with leeks and peas will cure your fear of making pasta," 5 May 2021 Notes of ripe apple and lemon cream with zesty mineral edge make this a great sipper to enjoy for the entire event. Katie Kelly Bell, Forbes, "The Best Champagnes And Sparklings For Your Wedding Celebration," 5 May 2021 The lemon sweetness, not tartness, was the star of this glass. Kelly Dearmore, Dallas News, "Love sour beers? Try the well-balanced brews at Beard Science Sour House in The Colony," 5 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Makes 8 shots 6 ounces dry rosé 1½ ounces Campari 2 ounces lemon juice ½ ounce maraschino cherry liquid Maraschino cherries, such as Luxardo In a shaker filled with ice, combine the rosé, Campari, lemon juice, and maraschino cherry liquid. Rebekah Peppler, Bon Appétit, "You Should Be Doing More Shots," 26 Aug. 2019 Make LEMON PUDDING (from a mix) with 1 percent milk for dessert. Susan Nicholson, Twin Cities, "7-day menu planner: For easy entertaining, try this linguine dish," 16 Apr. 2017 Jack Rudy Elderflower Tonic .5 oz. Lemon juice 4 oz. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "This Holiday Cocktail Recipe Honors 170 Years of T&C," 18 Dec. 2015

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

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First Known Use of lemon


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lemon


Middle English lymon, from Middle French limon, from Medieval Latin limon-, limo, from Arabic laymūn, līmūn, from Persian līmū, līmun

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Time Traveler for lemon

Time Traveler

The first known use of lemon was in the 15th century

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Statistics for lemon

Last Updated

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lemon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lemon. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for lemon



English Language Learners Definition of lemon

: a yellow citrus fruit that has a sour taste
: a bright yellow color
chiefly US, informal : a product that is not made well : a product that does not work the way it should


lem·​on | \ ˈle-mən How to pronounce lemon (audio) \

Kids Definition of lemon

1 : an oval yellow fruit with a sour juice that is related to the orange and grows on a small spiny tree
2 : something unsatisfactory : dud The used car was a lemon.


lem·​on | \ ˈlem-ən How to pronounce lemon (audio) \

Medical Definition of lemon

: an acid fruit that contains citric acid and vitamin C, is botanically a many-seeded pale yellow oblong berry, and is produced by a small thorny tree of the genus Citrus (C. limon) also : this tree

Other Words from lemon

lemon adjective

Comments on lemon

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