from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various small, thickset rodents, especially of the genus Lemmus, inhabiting northern regions and known for periodic mass migrations that sometimes end in drowning.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small Arctic and Subarctic rodent from any of six genera of similar rodents.
  • n. Any member of a group given to conformity or groupthink, especially a group poised to follow a leader off a cliff.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of several species of small arctic rodents of the genera Myodes and Cuniculus, resembling the meadow mice in form. They are found in both hemispheres.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A rodent quadruped of the family Muridæ, subfamily Arvicolinæ, and one of the genera Myodes, Cuniculus, and Synaptomys (see these terms).
  • n. The North American lemmings, 8 or 10 species of which are now recognized, have been divided into two genera, Lemmus and Dicrostonyx, and the species once familiar as Myodes obensis is now Lemmus alascensis. The black-footed lemming, L. nigripes, is peculiar to St George Island, Bering Sea. The common northeastern species is D. hudsonius.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of various short-tailed furry-footed rodents of circumpolar distribution


Norwegian, from Old Norse læmingi, læmingr.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Norwegian, from Old Norse lomundr ("lemming"), perhaps from Sami luomek (Wiktionary)



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