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 In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Joe Yonan, Washington Post, "Peak summer corn doesn’t need to be cooked. This bright salad with snap peas and zucchini proves it.," 12 July 2020 Into a cocktail shaker with ice, pour Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum, Créole Shrubb, and fresh lemon juice. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "7 Cocktails From Around The Globe You Can Make For World Rum Day," 10 July 2020 It's also seasoned with fresh dill, thyme, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Lobster week is now lobster month at Mudgie's Deli in Corktown," 9 July 2020 Top your meal off with banana pudding, chocolate meringue pie, coconut pie, lemon meringue pie or pineapple upside-down cake. Brandi Addison, Dallas News, "We found five fried chicken spots in Frisco for National Fried Chicken Day," 1 July 2020 Brewers do a nice job of hitting the flavor variations of lemon - fresh, Meyer, pith and so on. Marc Bona, cleveland, "9 beers to sip in June as warm weather hits (photos)," 7 June 2020 Add the lemon juice, water and egg yolks to the pan and whisk until smooth. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "Recipe: Lemon Curd Icebox Pie," 1 July 2020 In a food processor, combine the beans, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic and dried herbs. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "Buck Naked Kitchen: How an indigenous Canadian upbringing inspired this healthy cookbook," 1 July 2020 Make the tahini sauce by whisking the tahini, garlic, water, lemon juice, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "Chrissy Teigen shares her favorite recipes for the Fourth of July," 1 July 2020 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

23 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lemon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lemon. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for lemon


How to pronounce lemon (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on lemon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lemon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lemon

Spanish Central: Translation of lemon

Nglish: Translation of lemon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lemon for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lemon

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