fla·​ve·​do flə-ˈvē-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce flavedo (audio)
: the colored outer layer of the rind of a citrus fruit : the pigmented exocarp of a hesperidium
… and the gadget's blade is precisely angled—insuring that you'll cut only into the lemon's flavedo, the colored outer skin that houses the fruit's essential oils.Emily Gest
The flavedo is the outer colored peel of citrus. Cooks often call this part the zest.Jane Palmer
compare albedo

Did you know?

Based on its definition, you’d be forgiven for thinking flavedo is a combination of flavor and bravado—if any category of food can be said to embody “blustering swaggering conduct,” it’s sharp, assertive citrus. But flavedo instead comes from the New Latin word flāvēdō, meaning “yellow color,” the word’s etymology pointing to the shiny yellow rinds of the lemons you see in the grocery store. A citrus fruit’s flavedo (that is, its peel or rind) clings to its albedo, albedo referring to the pith—the whitish, spongy inner part of the rind of a citrus fruit. (Latin albēdō means “whiteness, white color.”) While flavor may seem like a likely relation of flavedo, the two have distinct Latin sources: flavor traces back not to flāvēdō but to Latin flatus meaning “breath,” or “the act of blowing,” a word which we are obliged to inform you also gave us another (indirectly) food-related word: flatulent.

Word History


borrowed from New Latin flāvēdō "yellow color," from Latin flāvus "yellow" + -ēdō (as in Late Latin albēdō "whiteness") — more at blue entry 1, albedo

First Known Use

1854, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of flavedo was in 1854


Dictionary Entries Near flavedo

Cite this Entry

“Flavedo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flavedo. Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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