kum·​quat ˈkəm-ˌkwät How to pronounce kumquat (audio)
: any of several small yellow to orange citrus fruits with sweet spongy rind and somewhat acid pulp that are used chiefly for preserves
also : a tree or shrub (genus Fortunella) of the rue family that bears kumquats

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Scallops seared in a wood fire and nestled with shaved celery and mouth-puckering kumquat? Washington Post, 10 Jan. 2020 On the social media platform Yelp — where someone is forever complaining about the extra hotel pillow being too hard, or the free continental breakfast failing to offer kumquats — every one of the reviews has resulted in five starts. San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Sep. 2019 Fold in the kumquats, cranberries, garlic, and parsley. 5. Tyler Florence, House Beautiful, 6 Jan. 2011 Prime your pallet with Hudson Valley foie gras with pumpkin bread, kumquat compote, pear brandy gastric and Granny Smith apple chips. Jordan Riefe, Orange County Register, 25 Nov. 2019 The home to the annual Kumquat Festival brags on its kumquat pies and quilt contest. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Oct. 2019 Eakins, however, could be navigating a wholly different life in a wildly different place with taste buds more attuned to kumquats. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Oct. 2019 Frost tolerance varies, from kumquat (hardy to 18 degrees F) to citron (damaged at 32 degrees F). Pam Peirce, SFChronicle.com, 11 Oct. 2019 From the Mottahedeh tobacco-leaf chargers to the vintage bohemian glassware to the guavas and kumquats interspersed among the flowers, everything was wild and unexpected and ravishing. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, 12 July 2019 See More

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

Word History


Chinese (Guangdong) gām-gwāt, from gām gold + gwāt citrus fruit

First Known Use

1699, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kumquat was in 1699

Dictionary Entries Near kumquat

Cite this Entry

“Kumquat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kumquat. Accessed 4 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


kum·​quat ˈkəm-ˌkwät How to pronounce kumquat (audio)
: a small yellowish orange fruit related to the citruses with sweet spongy skin and somewhat tart pulp used especially for preserves
: a tree or shrub that bears kumquats

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