on·ion | \ˈən-yən \

Definition of onion 

1 : a widely cultivated Asian herb (Allium cepa) of the lily family with pungent edible bulbs also : its bulb

2 : any of various plants of the same genus as the onion

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Other Words from onion

oniony \ˈən-yə-nē \ adjective

Examples of onion in a Sentence

The recipe calls for chopped onions. He is growing onions in the garden this year. The recipe calls for chopped onion.
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Recent Examples on the Web

What to try: The classics include the Baby Ray (three pieces of chicken smothered with gravy and onions and two waffles); and the Momma White's (one piece of chicken prepared Southern style with grits, two eggs, home fries and toast). Kellie Hwang, azcentral, "It's National Fried Chicken Day! Phoenix restaurants for best fried chicken," 6 July 2018 Add the arugula or romaine, the onion, and most of the tomatoes and cheese strips to the bowl and toss to coat. Adam Ried, BostonGlobe.com, "Everything you need to know about using a charcoal grill," 29 June 2018 Add saffron, oregano, bay leaf, onion, and 1 cup of water, stirring until it is absorbed. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "How To Eat Well When You're Camping," 26 June 2018 Herring lovers get elaborate service: countless ramekins filled with several preparations of that very particular fish, plus classic accompaniments like capers, fried onion, and mayo. Bon Appetit, "Restaurant Palægade," 18 June 2018 For bread with enhancements, there are kulcha stuffed with red onion ($2.99) and bullet naan ($3.99) made with green chile, among others. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New owners bring fine flavors to Royal India restaurant on Milwaukee's south side," 12 June 2018 In a large bowl, combine pasta, kidney beans, corn, red pepper, onion, and cilantro. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Rev up pasta salad season with one packed with nutrients," 10 June 2018 The felete a la veracruzana ($14.99) has a classic sauce with tomato, olive, onion and green pepper — flavors which are still so common in Spanish cuisine. Courtney Dabney, star-telegram, "Pescatarian paradise: It's all about the seafood at this Veracruz-inspired restaurant | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 22 May 2018 Peel onion and garlic with a paring or chef's knife. Eric Velasco, AL.com, "The best kitchen tools and how to use them," 27 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'onion.' 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 onion

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for onion

Middle English, from Anglo-French oignon, from Latin union-, unio

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Statistics for onion

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for onion

The first known use of onion was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for onion



English Language Learners Definition of onion

: a round vegetable that is usually white, yellow, or red and has a strong smell and taste


on·ion | \ˈən-yən \

Kids Definition of onion

: the roundish edible bulb of a plant related to the lily that has a sharp odor and taste and is used as a vegetable and to season foods

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Comments on onion

What made you want to look up onion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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