tan·ger·ine | \ˈtan-jə-ˌrēn, ˌtan-jə-ˈrēn\

Definition of tangerine 

1a : any of various mandarin oranges that have usually deep orange skin and pulp broadly : mandarin sense 3b

b : a tree producing tangerines

2 : a moderate to strong reddish orange

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Did You Know?

When tangerine was first used in the mid-19th century it was an adjective we'd borrowed from French to describe people or things from or relating to the Moroccan city of Tangier. (The French name for "Tangier" is Tanger.) Within about a hundred years the noun tangerine was being used to refer to the fruit we now know by that name. Although tangerines were at one time thought to be native to Morocco, they are now thought to be indigenous to southeast Asia. As our definition explains, tangerines are technically a kind of mandarin orange-and mandarin is another word we got from the French. The French mandarine is most likely originally from the Portuguese word mandarim, which etymologists believe is probably from the color of a Chinese mandarin's robes.

Examples of tangerine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Chaeyoung's fresh tangerine look had to be the most prominent of the bunch. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Why It's Such a Big Deal When a K-Pop Star Dyes Their Hair," 21 June 2018 But also in the tangerine shorts and lime green swimming briefs. For Milan, there were tie-dye knits over colorful print thigh-baring short, jeans and color-block hoodies, and pin-striped suits with palm tree shadows and the band logo on the back. Washington Post, "Prada redefines youthful elegance with psychedelic flair," 17 June 2018 Put quartered tangerines in a cocktail shaker and muddle thoroughly to break up fruit and release juice. Elaine Johnson, Sunset, "Tangerine Whiskey Sour," 22 Jan. 2018 The rind was so thin the tangerine practically peeled itself, sending another tropical aroma into the air. Ruth Reichl, Town & Country, "These Pixie Tangerines Are the World's Most Glorious Citrus," 19 Jan. 2018 Unlike the Golden Globes, there was plenty of color in this year's Oscar fashions from Greta Gerwig's shimmering tangerine gown to Daniel Kaluuya's mustard tuxedo jacket. Joey Morona, cleveland.com, "Oscars 2018 red carpet: Best and worst dressed (video)," 5 Mar. 2018 Founded in the 1960s, the orchard and store offers acres of citrus including navels, pink grapefruit, Rio Red grapefruit, Arizona Sweets, Valencias and tangerines. Sonja Haller, azcentral, "Ultimate Arizona bucket list: 25 things to do in Mesa," 18 Feb. 2015 Kids and teetotalers can opt for mystic portal punch, which has lemon-lime and tangerine flavors with Powerade Mountain Berry Blast. Dewayne Bevil, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Disney: Comfort food fills Woody's Lunch Box at Toy Story Land," 28 June 2018 Sweet-tart tangerine and loads of citrusy hops make for a really bright, flavorful brew. Ac Shilton, Outside Online, "The Definitive Summer Guide to Shower Beer," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tangerine.' 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 tangerine

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for tangerine

Tangerine (orange), from French Tanger Tangier, Morocco + English -ine entry 1

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Statistics for tangerine

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for tangerine

The first known use of tangerine was in 1842

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More Definitions for tangerine



English Language Learners Definition of tangerine

: a small, sweet fruit that is like an orange with a loose skin which is easy to remove

: a deep orange-yellow color


tan·ger·ine | \ˈtan-jə-ˌrēn \

Kids Definition of tangerine

: a Chinese orange with a loose skin and sweet pulp

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