Definition of “lemon” - English Dictionary

“lemon” in British English

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uk /ˈlem.ən/ us /ˈlem.ən/

lemon noun (FRUIT)

A2 [ C or U ] an oval fruit that has a thick, yellow skin and sour juice:

For this recipe you need the juice of two lemons.
Would you like a slice of lemon in your tea?
lemon juice

[ U ] the juice of a lemon or a drink made from this juice

More examples

  • Is there any of that lemon cake left?
  • A margarita is made with tequila, an orange liqueur and lime or lemon juice.
  • The dessert was decorated with strips of lemon peel.
  • Purists eat smoked salmon with nothing more than lemon and black pepper.
  • Just roast the chicken in the oven and baste it in oil and lemon.


[ C ] mainly US informal something that does not work:

Only one of his inventions turned out to be a lemon.

[ C ] UK informal a very silly person:

I felt such a lemon when I discovered I'd missed my appointment.


uk /ˈlem.ən/ us /ˈlem.ən/

(Definition of “lemon” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“lemon” in American English

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lemonnoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈlem·ən/

a yellow, oval fruit whose juice has a sour taste

infml A lemon is a device or machine that does not work well:

[ C ] That car I bought is a real lemon.

(Definition of “lemon” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)