Definition of lemon in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlemən/


1A yellow, oval citrus fruit with thick skin and fragrant, acidic juice.
Example sentences
  • Fried fish was accompanied by the juice of bitter oranges or lemons or by greensauce.
  • Put cherries and orange slices into a kettle and add the lemon juice and sugar.
  • Crush the avocado with the lemon juice, salt and pepper, and spread thickly on the bread.
1.1A drink made from or flavored with lemon juice: a port and lemon [as modifier]: lemon tea
More example sentences
  • No one made me hot lemon drinks or brought me books to read, or showed the slightest sign of sympathy.
  • I was told to go home and drink hot lemon because all I had was the common cold.
  • Although lemon tea is a healthy drink, if your father doesn't like it, of course he will be angry.
2 (also lemon tree) The evergreen citrus tree that produces the lemon, widely cultivated in warm climates.
  • Citrus limon, family Rutaceae.
Example sentences
  • One is across the pool, next to the lemon tree that looks out over the canyon.
  • I keep raving about our magical lemon tree but I keep forgetting to bring any of its produce to her.
  • There is a lemon tree just outside our kitchen window that delivers an abundance of big juicy fruit twice a year.
3A pale yellow color: [as modifier]: lemon yellow a lemon T-shirt
More example sentences
  • Behind glazed double doors, the family room is decorated in pale lemon and floored in solid oak.
  • A houndstooth wool anchored the season, with touches of dusty rose and pale lemon.
  • It's an Australian plant naturalised in Spain having flowers of lemon yellow to deep gold.
4 informal A person or thing, especially an automobile, regarded as unsatisfactory, disappointing, or feeble.
Example sentences
  • As a result you are stuck holding some real lemons - and the prospect of widespread industrial chaos - as we move into an election year.
defective car;
disappointment, letdown
informal clunker, junker, jalopy, hooptie, Tin Lizzie, bucket of bolts, rustbucket, beater



Pronunciation: /ˈlemənē/
Example sentences
  • Its sour, lemony flavour meant it was a traditional substitute when lemons were out of season.
  • Andrew said his cheesecake was not too tangy but nice and lemony, and the ice-cream was a delicious accompaniment.
  • We ate the smoky, lemony vegetables slightly warm, while the basil still had all its peppery, clove-like scent.


Middle English: via Old French limon (in modern French denoting a lime) from Arabic līmūn (a collective term for fruits of this kind); compare with lime2.

  • The root of lemon and also lime (mid 17th century) is an Arabic word, lim, that was a collective term for citrus fruit. On fruit machines the lemon is the least valuable symbol, and this may be behind the answer is a lemon ‘the response or outcome is unsatisfactory’. Especially in the USA, a lemon may be a substandard or defective car, of the type all too often bought from shady used-car dealers.

Words that rhyme with lemon

leman, Lemmon, Yemen

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lem·on

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