on·​ion ˈən-yən How to pronounce onion (audio)
plural onions
: a widely cultivated Asian herbaceous plant (Allium cepa) of the amaryllis family that has a pungent edible bulb and that is closely related to the garlic, chive, and leek
also : its bulb
: any of various usually ornamental alliums (such as Allium amplectens or A. caeruleum) related to the onion
oniony adjective
an oniony flavor
oniony meatloaf

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Raw shelled eggs and raw pork chorizo were stored above cut limes, salsas, and cut onions. Kunle Falayi, The Arizona Republic, 8 May 2024 Add the yogurt, onion, olive oil and garlic; mix well, then set aside. 2. Lidey Heuck, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for onion 

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near onion

Cite this Entry

“Onion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/onion. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


on·​ion ˈən-yən How to pronounce onion (audio)
: a widely grown Asian herb related to the lilies and having edible bulbs that have a sharp odor and taste and are used as a vegetable and to season foods
also : its bulb

More from Merriam-Webster on onion

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