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A whole and a cut lemon.
A lemon tree.


From Middle English lymon, from Old French lymon (citrus), from Arabic لَيْمُون(laymūn) or Ottoman Turkish لیمون(limon), from Persian لیمو(limu).[1] Cognate with Sanskrit निम्बू (nimbū, lime).


  • IPA(key): /ˈlɛmən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛmən


lemon (plural lemons)

  1. A yellowish citrus fruit.
  2. A semitropical evergreen tree, Citrus limon, that bears such fruits.
  3. A taste or flavour/flavor of lemons.
  4. A more or less bright shade of yellow associated with lemon fruits.
    lemon flesh colour:  
    lemon rind colour:  
  5. (slang) A defective or inadequate item or individual.
    He didn’t realise until he’d paid for it that the car was a lemon.
    • 1951, Herman Wouk, chapter 20, in The Caine Mutiny, page 243:
      [] the Navy's supposed to give me a ship that goes, and a captain that fights—— That's what all this muck is for, isn't it?”
      “Look, it's an old story by now. We're stuck with a lemon. Misfortune of war. []
  6. (Cockney rhyming slang, shortened from “lemon flavour”) Favor.
    A thousand quid for that motor? Do me a lemon, I could get it for half that.
  7. (fandom slang) A piece of fanfiction involving explicit sex (named after the erotic anime series Cream Lemon).


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit


lemon (comparative more lemon, superlative most lemon)

  1. Containing or having the flavour/flavor and/or scent of lemons.
  2. Of the pale yellow colour/color of lemons.
  3. (Cockney rhyming slang, from "lemon tart") Smart; cheeky, vocal.
    • 2009, Caitlin Moran, ‘Why I love paying tax’, The Times, 12 Oct 2009:
      Obviously Emin is not the first public figure to get lemon over tax increases.



lemon (third-person singular simple present lemons, present participle lemoning, simple past and past participle lemoned)

  1. (transitive) To flavour with lemon.
    You can start the vegetables cooking while you are lemoning the fish.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ lemon” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.





  1. accusative singular of lemo