on·​ion | \ ˈən-yən How to pronounce onion (audio) \

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 How to pronounce onion (audio) \ 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 One-third pound patties are served in creative combinations like the Good Fat burger, with avocado, bacon-onion jam and bacon aioli. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 July 2021 Like health salads, the base is typically made of cabbage and carrot, and may also include cucumber, pepper, tomato, onion and other seasonal summer vegetables. Sonya Sanford, sun-sentinel.com, 22 July 2021 Cut crosswise on a diagonal into ½-inch-thick slices (broccoli should be cut into florets; pin onion slices with toothpicks to keep them from falling apart). Steven Raichlen New York Times, Star Tribune, 21 July 2021 Cut your onion in half and slice it into ¼-inch-thick half-moons. New York Times, 20 July 2021 And the beef empanada ($4.50), sweetened with raisins and onion, lived up to its reputation as a classic. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 July 2021 Add mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, spinach, and onion and stir to combine. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, 17 July 2021 At The Café, best bets are the burger with bacon, red onion marmalade, and ale house cheddar ($26), or the prawn and calamari cookpot with crisp toast ($35). BostonGlobe.com, 13 July 2021 One special, a hefty sandwich with layers of beef patties, pastrami, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion, was called the King Kong. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, 13 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for onion

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near onion



onion couch

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Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Onion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/onion. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce onion (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on onion

Nglish: Translation of onion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of onion for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about onion


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