Share this entry

Share this page

melon

Syllabification: mel·on
Pronunciation: /ˈmelən
 
/

Definition of melon in English:

noun

1The large round fruit of a plant of the gourd family, with sweet pulpy flesh and many seeds.
Example sentences
  • Fruits include the indigenous melons, grapes, mulberries, peaches, apricots, nectarines, and pomegranates, as well as medlars, persimmons, oranges, melons, and sweet lemons.
  • They lived with his father and mother, and began growing crops of sweet corn, melons, pomegranates, figs and dates.
  • They also love ripe melons and bananas and grapes.
2The Old World plant that yields the melon.
  • Cucumis melo subsp. melo, family Cucurbitaceae: many varieties
Example sentences
  • The locusts eat everything, barley; wheat; melons; tobacco plants; strawberries; spruce and apple trees, even the laundry hanging out on the line.
  • The farms of Nixons, Swantons, Alex's, Stranos and Newlands roads are growing a variety of crops including sugar cane, peanuts, tomatoes, melons, pumpkins and maize.
  • Other skills, such as cultivating onions, giant leeks, melons, carnations, fuchsias and roses for competition, are honed on allotments.
3 Zoology A mass of waxy material in the head of dolphins and other toothed whales, thought to focus acoustic signals.
Example sentences
  • The role of ‘acoustic fat’ is best known for dolphins, where it is found only in the mandibular channel and the melon.
  • This structure is derived from the melon of other odontocetes, and like the melon, may serve as a sort of acoustic lens.
  • The clicks are beamed forward, with the oily melon serving as an acoustic lens and the bony forehead as a reflector.
4A large profit, especially a stock dividend, to be divided among a number of people: you can just see them sitting around the room cutting up the melon in advance
More example sentences
  • Meanwhile, the tradition was that every year the Wall Street member firms would cut up the melon and distribute their earnings to partners in their firms.

Origin

late Middle English: via Old French from late Latin melo, melon-, contraction of Latin melopepo, from Greek mēlopepōn, from mēlon 'apple' + pepōn 'gourd'.

Words that rhyme with melon

Ellen, felon, Magellan, Mellon

Definition of melon in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something