Definition of


  1. (noun, food) yellow oval fruit with juicy acidic flesh
  2. (noun, attribute) a strong yellow color
  3. (noun, plant) a small evergreen tree that originated in Asia but is widely cultivated for its fruit
  4. (noun, cognition) a distinctive tart flavor characteristic of lemons
  5. (noun, artifact) an artifact (especially an automobile) that is defective or unsatisfactory

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Lemon

  1. type of citrus fruit, c.1400, from O.Fr. limon "citrus fruit," from O.Prov., from Arabic laimun or Pers. limu(n), generic terms for citrus fruits (compare lime); cognate with Skt. nimbu "the lime." Slang meaning "a Quaalude" is 1960s, from Lemmon, name of a pharmaceutical company that once manufactured the drug. more
  2. "worthless thing," 1909, Amer.Eng. slang; from lemon (1), perhaps via criminal slang sense of "a person who is a loser, a simpleton," which is perhaps from the notion of someone a sharper can "suck the juice out of." A pool hall hustle was called a lemon game (1908); while to hand someone a lemon was British slang (1906) for "to pass off a sub-standard article as … more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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