Main definitions of lemma in English

: lemma1lemma2

lemma1

Pronunciation /ˈlemə/ /ˈlɛmə/

nounlemmas, lemmata

  • 1A subsidiary or intermediate theorem in an argument or proof.

    ‘they give every last lemma of neoclassical theory the status of Holy Writ’
    • ‘It takes a long series of lemmas to show how powerful the primitive recursive functions are.’
    • ‘To state the lemma, we need to make one more definition concerning functors.’
    • ‘The fundamental lemma of the calculus of variations is named after him.’
    • ‘The following lemma is fundamental in the theory of incomplete markets.’
    • ‘I found a gap in a proof and proved a lemma to set it right.’
  • 2A heading indicating the subject or argument of a literary composition, an annotation, or a dictionary entry.

    • ‘The lemma is always followed by an analysis of the text.’

Origin

Late 16th century via Latin from Greek lēmma ‘something assumed’; related to lambanein ‘take’.

Main definitions of lemma in English

: lemma1lemma2

lemma2

Pronunciation /ˈlemə/ /ˈlɛmə/

nounlemmas, lemmata

Botany
  • The lower bract of the floret of a grass.

    ‘On the day before florets opened, the third florets from the top of the first branches were fixed in FAA after removing the lemmas.’
    Compare with palea
    • ‘Two leafy organs protect the floret of grasses, the lemma, and the palea, and both are considered to represent reduced vegetative leaves.’
    • ‘In the basal part of the floret, the mRNA label was very strong in the two distinctive bracts, lemma and palea, as well as in the base of the two lodicules and the pistil complex.’
    • ‘Each floret is enclosed in a lemma and palea and all florets produce two lodicules, three stamens, and a gynoecium.’
    • ‘Phenotypic traits include barbed lemmas, small sterile lateral spikelets, short glume awns, narrow leaves, semismooth awns, and long rachilla hairs.’

Origin

Mid 18th century (denoting the husk or shell of a fruit): from Greek, from lepein ‘to peel’.