Middle English onyon, union, oinyon, from Anglo-Norman union et al. and Old French oignon, from Latin ūniōnem, accusative of ūniō (“onion, large pearl”) (probably from ūnus (“one”), but perhaps compare Hittite wašḫar (“garlic”), Sanskrit उष्ण (uṣṇa, “onion”), Pashto ووږه (ūža, “garlic”), Khowar wǝẓnū (“garlic”)). Displaced the inherited term ramsons.
onion (plural onions)
- A monocotyledonous plant of genus Allium allied to garlic, used as vegetable and spice.
- The bulb of such a plant.
- (uncountable) The genus as a whole.
- (obsolete baseball slang) A ball.
- (colloquial, chiefly archaic) A person from Bermuda or of Bermudian descent.