Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various small, thickset rodents of the subfamily Arvicolinae, especially of the genus Lemmus, inhabiting northern regions and known for periodic mass migrations.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A rodent quadruped of the family Muridæ, subfamily Arvicolinæ, and one of the genera Myodes, Cuniculus, and Synaptomys (see these terms).
  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Norwegian, from Old Norse læmingi, læmingr.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Norwegian, from Old Norse lomundr ("lemming"), perhaps from Sami luomek

Examples

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