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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from citrus

citrusy \ˈsi-trə-sē \ adjective

Examples of citrus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This off-dry wine from very old vines is ripe and luscious with floral and citrus notes and a racy acidity. 5. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "The Pro Move? Order the German Riesling," 5 July 2018 The heavy scent of citrus blossom hung outside the Hilton Park hotel in Nicosia, Cyprus, where about 100 small-business owners, lawyers, accountants, and their partners packed into the ballroom to mark the Chinese New Year. Alan Crawford,, "Everything Is for Sale in Cyprus, and China’s Buying," 24 Apr. 2018 Its taste consists of acidic sour ale with the flavours of English wine to give aromas of citrus and toasted nuts with a hint of vanilla - and is served in wine bottles. Fox News, "Brewery making craft beer with white wine," 23 Apr. 2018 Even the foliage has a citrus-like fragrance when crushed., "6 vibrant, colorful shrubs to spruce up Oregon gardens," 9 Apr. 2018 Garnishing with a green olive and a slice of citrus is essential. Andrea Whittle, Condé Nast Traveler, "Recreating “Lo Spritz,” the Venetian Happy Hour," 30 Mar. 2018 Phillips, her husband, Jason, and their three boys have lived at the 2.5-acre Gracey Lane Farm, a private estate and citrus-producing farm, since moving to Fallbrook in 2009. Laura Groch,, "Gracey Lane Farm serving up fundraiser for fire victims," 9 Mar. 2018 Courtesy of Natasha Soto-Albors, bartender at Motel Morris The rich, spicy-sharp cinnamon undertones in this cocktail are complemented with bright twists of citrus. Sarah Rense, Esquire, "The Best Drinks to Celebrate Love This Valentine's Day," 23 Jan. 2018 One Shot Deal uses inky, bitter, chicory liqueur with sweet fruit and a bright dose of citrus., "10 ‘evergreen’ cocktails from Atlanta bars to spruce up winter drinking," 21 Jan. 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.

See More

First Known Use of citrus

1781, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for citrus

New Latin, genus name, from Latin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about citrus

Statistics for citrus

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for citrus

The first known use of citrus was in 1781

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!