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

Examples of kumquat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web With this Calamansi plant—a hybrid plant that’s half mandarin orange and half kumquat—Mom gets to enjoy some sweet fruit and a lovely citrus aroma when the plant is in bloom. Moriah Mason, Southern Living, 5 Apr. 2024 Any of these kumquats can be used as a 4- to 6-foot evergreen hedge. Joshua Siskin, Orange County Register, 27 Jan. 2024 An excellent choice for a small ornamental tree with year-round interest is the kumquat or one of its relatives. Joshua Siskin, Orange County Register, 27 Jan. 2024 Wapner herself made a seasonal floral arrangement of kumquat tree branches and fragrant flowering acacia, displaying it in a large copper chalice over the fireplace. Jessica Battilana, New York Times, 12 Jan. 2024 Garnish with in-season tangerines, kumquats, and blood oranges. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 16 Nov. 2023 Marlborough, New Zealand, $16 Racy yet ripe with kumquat and pineapple flavors and a hint of jalapeño spice, this wine adds verve to any meal. Dave McIntyre, Washington Post, 28 Dec. 2023 This tart-sweet marmalade delivers the complex flavor of calamansi—a fruit that’s like lime, kumquat and tangerine all in one—grown on Oahu. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, 14 Nov. 2023 Flavors of star fruit, pineapple, kumquat and lemongrass — and well, Juicy Fruit gum? — are a recipe for fun. Dave McIntyre, Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kumquat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 23 May. 2024.

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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