Share this entry

melon Line breaks: melon
Pronunciation: /ˈmɛlən/

Definition of melon in English:


1The large round fruit of a plant of the gourd family, with sweet pulpy flesh and many seeds: a ripe melon will smell sweet a slice of melon
More 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.
1.1 (melons) informal A woman’s breasts.
2The Old World plant which 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 waxy mass 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.


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


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 exemplum
Pronunciation: ɪɡˈzɛmpləm
an example or model...