noun, often attributive
cit·​rus | \ˈsi-trəs \
plural citrus or citruses

Definition of citrus 

: any of a group of often thorny trees and shrubs (Citrus and related genera) of the rue family grown in warm regions for their edible fruit (such as the orange or lemon) with firm usually thick rind and pulpy flesh also : the fruit

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Other Words from citrus

citrusy \ˈsi-​trə-​sē \ adjective

Examples of citrus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

My favorite blends are Liquid Sunshine, $17, which smells very fresh and citrus-y, and Unwind, $17, a blend of bergamot and lavender. Talia Abbas, SELF, "How 17 Stressed-Out Millennials Make Home a Peaceful Place to Escape When the News Is Just Too Much," 19 Nov. 2018 This simple fish dinner is infused with orange juice for a subtle kick of citrus flavor. Ayesha Curry, Woman's Day, "Garlic Butter Salmon and Citrus Rice," 23 Oct. 2018 Recommended Varieties of Ground Cherries Aunt Molly's: This Polish heirloom with a captivating citrus flavor takes 70 days to fruit. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Hundreds of Ground Cherries," 31 July 2018 The nose is immediately fresh and beguiling, with notes of candied lemon, citrus flowers and subtle hints of spice. Lauren Sheffield, Harper's BAZAAR, "Forget Rosé: These Are the Wines You Need to Be Sipping," 26 July 2018 There is also an active farm with exotic palms, citrus and coconut trees. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Morgan Stanley’s Ex-Asia Chief Sells Hawaii’s Most Expensive Home," 9 Nov. 2018 Key aromatics and flavor molecules are being identified such as citrus-like esters from ethyl isobutyrate and pineapple-y aromas derived from ethyl hexanoate or the buttery qualities found in the compound diacetyl. Alan Goldfarb, The Verge, "Artificial whiskey is coming, and one company is betting you’ll drink up," 23 Aug. 2018 One is the Herbaceous Longshoreman ($14), with spirits that include navy-strength gin and green chartreuse, plus citrus and egg whites with hibiscus-blueberry tea garnish. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Reopening after break, Meraki marks new menu with a half-price night," 12 July 2018 Very clever, but this riff on the mall favorite tastes like a citrus-and-bait milkshake. Devra First,, "What’s on the menu at Falmouth’s Buffalo Jump? ‘Weird food that only weirdos like’," 11 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of citrus

1781, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for citrus

New Latin, genus name, from Latin

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Statistics for citrus

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for citrus

The first known use of citrus was in 1781

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More Definitions for citrus



English Language Learners Definition of citrus

: a juicy fruit (such as an orange, grapefruit, or lemon) that has a thick skin and that comes from a tree or shrub that grows in warm areas


cit·​rus | \ˈsi-trəs \
plural citrus or citruses

Kids Definition of citrus

: a juicy fruit (as a lemon, orange, or grapefruit) with a thick rind that comes from a tree or shrub that grows in warm regions


noun, often attributive
cit·​rus | \ˈsi-trəs \

Medical Definition of citrus 

1 capitalized : a genus of often thorny trees and shrubs of the rue family (Rutaceae) grown in warm regions for their edible fruit (as the orange, lemon, lime, or mandarin) with firm usually thick rind and pulpy flesh

2 plural citruses or citrus : any plant or fruit of the genus Citrus or a related genus

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More from Merriam-Webster on citrus

Spanish Central: Translation of citrus

Nglish: Translation of citrus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of citrus for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about citrus

Comments on citrus

What made you want to look up citrus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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