[lem-uh n] /ˈlɛm ən/
the yellowish, acid fruit of a subtropical citrus tree, Citrus limon.
the tree itself.
Informal. a person or thing that proves to be defective, imperfect, or unsatisfactory; dud:
"His car turned out to be a lemon."
made of or with lemon.
having the color, taste, or odor of lemon.
1350–1400; 1905–10 for def 4; < Medieval Latin lemōnium; replacing Middle English lymon < Medieval Latin līmō, (stem līmōn-) < Persian līmū, līmun
Related forms
lemonish, adjective
lemonlike, lemony, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for lemony
lemon (ˈlɛmən)
1.  a small Asian evergreen tree, Citrus limon, widely cultivated in warm and tropical regions, having pale green glossy leaves and edible fruitsRelated: citric, citrine, citrous
2.  a.  the yellow oval fruit of this tree, having juicy acidic flesh rich in vitamin C
 b.  (as modifier): a lemon jelly
3.  Also called: lemon yellow
 a.  a greenish-yellow or strong yellow colour
 b.  (as adjective): lemon wallpaper
4.  a distinctive tart flavour made from or in imitation of the lemon
5.  slang a person or thing considered to be useless or defective
Related: citric, citrine, citrous
[C14: from Medieval Latin lemōn-, from Arabic laymūn]

lemony (ˈlɛmənɪ)
1.  having or resembling the taste or colour of a lemon
2.  slang (Austral) angry or irritable

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin and History for lemony
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.
"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 a good one." Or it simply may be a metaphor for something which "leaves a bad taste in one's mouth."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang related to lemony

lemon 1

  1. Anything unsatisfactory or defective, esp a car; clinker : His tale brought back memories of my first lemon/ That show's a lemon (1909+)
  2. A light-skinned and attractive black woman; high yellow (1940s+ Black)
  3. A sour, disagreeable person (1925+)
  4. (also lemonade) Weakened or diluted narcotics, or a nonnarcotic substance sold as a narcotic; blank (1960s+ Narcotics)

hand someone a lemon

lemon 2


A Quaalude2

[1960s+ Narcotics; Lemmon is the name of a pharmaceutical company that once manufactured the drug]

Dictionary of American Slang
Copyright © 1986 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Tile value for lemony

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