Definition of lemming in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlemiNG/


1A small, short-tailed, thickset rodent related to the voles, found in the Arctic tundra.
Example sentences
  • If there are no seals to hunt, they will eat small whales, lemmings, and even geese.
  • Two species of lemmings are the only other herbivores that occur in significant numbers on the island.
  • Researchers are also studying Arctic foxes, lemmings, snowy owls and vegetation.
1.1A person who unthinkingly joins a mass movement, especially a headlong rush to destruction: the flailings of the lemmings on Wall Street
More example sentences
  • In the last week I have received 3 calls from telemarketers and 5 pieces of individually addressed junk mails offering me the chance to join the financial lemmings as they go over the cliff that is inner-city investment property.
  • It is inexplicable that these women find optimism amid calamity when like lemmings our young rush to enlist in the politics of cynicism amid relative fortune.
  • The rest can only hide in their holes, or like lemmings rush to disaster en masse.


Early 18th century: from Norwegian and Danish; related to Old Norse lómundr.

Words that rhyme with lemming


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lem·ming

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