lime

1 of 5

noun (1)

1
2
a
: a caustic highly infusible solid that consists of calcium oxide often together with magnesium oxide, that is obtained by calcining forms of calcium carbonate (such as shells or limestone), and that is used in building (as in mortar and plaster) and in agriculture

called also quicklime

b
: a dry white powder consisting essentially of calcium hydroxide that is made by treating quicklime with water
c
: calcium
carbonate of lime

lime

2 of 5

verb

limed; liming

transitive verb

1
: to smear with a sticky substance (such as birdlime)
2
: to entangle with or as if with birdlime
3
: to treat or cover with lime
lime the lawn in the spring

lime

3 of 5

adjective

: of, relating to, or containing lime or limestone

lime

4 of 5

noun (2)

: a linden tree
especially : linden sense 1a

lime

5 of 5

noun (3)

1
: the small globose yellowish green fruit of a widely cultivated spiny tropical Asian citrus tree (Citrus aurantifolia) with a usually acid juicy pulp used as a flavoring agent and as a source of vitamin C
2
: a tree that bears limes

Examples of lime in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Fertilizer If the soil is too acidic (pH 6.0 or lower), sprinkle a little lime over the soil surface once a year. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 8 Feb. 2024 Make a statement with one of these mesmerizing confections made with a Campari lime jelly base, orange juice jelly, and sweet milk jelly flowers. Ellen Fort, Saveur, 8 Feb. 2024 Also available are $12 glasses of the Kansas City Ice Water made with vodka, gin and lime soda, as well as the Horsefeather made with whiskey ginger syrup, soda and aromatic bitters. Brianna Taylor, Sacramento Bee, 7 Feb. 2024 As for the pho, each choice comes with bean sprouts, basil, jalapenos and lime on the side, plus green onions, yellow onions and cilantro garnish. Heidi Finley, Charlotte Observer, 6 Feb. 2024 Garnish with a slice of jalapeno and lime and serve. John Metcalfe, The Mercury News, 31 Jan. 2024 Let cool slightly on paper towels before serving with lime wedges, green tomato salsa and romesco sauce (see recipes). Nina Lincoff, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 For garnish Watermelon ball Sichuan pepper flowers Table sugar Combine the 3 melon balls, gin, Cocchi Rosa, absinthe, lime juice and Sichuan-vanilla syrup in a cocktail shaker over ice. Judy Revenaugh, Kansas City Star, 30 Jan. 2024 Pico de gallo 2 small plum tomatoes, diced 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced 1 teaspoon cumin 2 tablespoons lime juice 1/4 small yellow or white onion, minced 1/2 teaspoon salt Chile flakes, to taste Mix all ingredients together in stainless steel bowl. Nina Lincoff, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024
Verb
Indeed, of the 180 or so tombs that his team examined at the cemetery, this was the only one that had been limed. Franz Lidz, New York Times, 25 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lime.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English līm; akin to Old High German līm birdlime, Latin limus mud, slime, and perhaps to Latin linere to smear

Noun (2)

alteration of Middle English lind, from Old English; akin to Old High German linta linden

Noun (3)

Middle French, from Spanish lima, from Arabic līma, līm

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1625, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lime was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near lime

Cite this Entry

“Lime.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lime. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

lime

1 of 5 noun
1
: a white substance that is primarily an oxide of calcium, is made by heating limestone or shells, and is used in making plaster and cement and in farming
2
: a dry white powder consisting chiefly of the hydroxide of calcium that is made by treating lime with water

lime

2 of 5 verb
limed; liming
: to treat or cover with lime
lime a garden

lime

3 of 5 adjective
: of, relating to, or containing lime or limestone

lime

4 of 5 noun
: a European linden tree

lime

5 of 5 noun
: a fruit like the lemon but smaller and with a yellowish green skin
also : the tropical Asian citrus tree that bears limes
Etymology

Noun

Old English lim "substance from limestone"

Noun

Old English lind "linden tree"

Noun

from French lime "the fruit lime"; of Arabic origin

Medical Definition

lime

1 of 2 noun
: a caustic powdery white highly infusible solid that consists of calcium oxide often together with magnesia

called also quicklime

see limewater
lime adjective

lime

2 of 2 noun
: the small globose yellowish green fruit of a spiny tropical tree of the genus Citrus (C. aurantifolia) that has a usually acid juicy pulp used as a flavoring agent and as a source of vitamin C
also : a tree that bears limes

More from Merriam-Webster on lime

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!