citronella

noun

cit·​ro·​nel·​la ˌsi-trə-ˈne-lə How to pronounce citronella (audio)
: a lemon-scented grass (Cymbopogon nardus) of southern Asia that yields an oil used in perfumery and as an insect repellent
also : its oil

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Water citronella plants growing in the ground when the top two inches of soil feel dry to the touch. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 22 Aug. 2022 This basic citronella candle can be customized to match any outdoor ambiance. Averi Baudler, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 Aug. 2022 Water your citronella plant whenever the soil is dry to the touch. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 22 Aug. 2022 This basic citronella candle can be customized to match any outdoor ambiance. Averi Baudler, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 Aug. 2022 This basic citronella candle can be customized to match any outdoor ambiance. Averi Baudler, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 Aug. 2022 Luckily, an internet friend told me about Kinfield’s Golden Hour, a DEET-free bug spray that uses Indonesian citronella to keep mosquitos away. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, 23 July 2021 Don’t forget repellent spray and citronella candles. Marc Bona, cleveland, 27 June 2021 Forget the bugs and pests, these warm nights are too good not to enjoy-especially if we're properly stocked on the best citronella candles out there. Patricia Shannon, Southern Living, 11 June 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'citronella.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from French citronnelle lemon balm, from citron

First Known Use

circa 1858, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of citronella was circa 1858

Dictionary Entries Near citronella

Cite this Entry

“Citronella.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/citronella. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

citronella

noun
cit·​ro·​nel·​la ˌsi-trə-ˈnel-ə How to pronounce citronella (audio)
: a lemon-scented oil obtained from a grass of southern Asia and used in perfumes and as an insect repellent

Medical Definition

citronella

noun
cit·​ro·​nel·​la ˌsi-trə-ˈnel-ə How to pronounce citronella (audio)
1
2
: a fragrant grass (Cymbopogon nardus) of southern Asia that yields citronella oil
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