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 Served with tomato, red onion, mixed greens and a lemon-dill aioli on your choice of bread, the sandwich takes a staple of Jewish delis and turbocharges it. Washington Post, 16 June 2021 Put rhubarb, 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon lemongrass puree, 2 teaspoons lemon rind and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a large saucepan. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 16 June 2021 As noted, portions are large, and the branzino has got to be a two-pounder, juicy, adorned with olive oil and lemon slices, and scented with rosemary ($38), again readily a dish for two people. John Mariani, Forbes, 15 June 2021 Add the vegetables, lemon rind, and herbs to the pasta with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. BostonGlobe.com, 15 June 2021 Amy LaRue’s lemon-poppyseed cruller is a stunner, not too sweet and nicely airy inside. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, 14 June 2021 This raspberry/lemon/vanilla custard is officially the first new flavor to join the Leon's lineup in more than 30 years. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 June 2021 The kit includes four lemon Millennium Energy bars (400 calories each). Jenn Harris Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 12 June 2021 Half a century later, looking out on the lemon grove that Anne always dreamed of, C.W. echoes the same phrase. Ben Rosenstock, Vulture, 11 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective And there's a sauce for everyone's taste, from lemon garlic lobster to mango habanero steak and shrimp and chicken bacon ranch dishes. Dahlia Ghabour, The Courier-Journal, 27 May 2021 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, 26 Aug. 2019 Make LEMON PUDDING (from a mix) with 1 percent milk for dessert. Susan Nicholson, Twin Cities, 16 Apr. 2017 Jack Rudy Elderflower Tonic .5 oz. Lemon juice 4 oz. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, 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

18 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lemon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lemon. Accessed 20 Jun. 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


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