tan·​ger·​ine | \ ˈtan-jə-ˌrēn How to pronounce tangerine (audio) , 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 Citrusy tangerine and pomegranate molasses lend sour notes while the perfume of saffron and honey will have everyone waiting with bated breath. Washington Post, "8 recipes featuring the pomegranate, the jewel of fruits," 9 Jan. 2020 This raw sprouts salad is very straightforward, which lets the sweet tangerines and sharp pecorino shine. Sunset Magazine, "The Recipes You Should Be Cooking This January," 2 Jan. 2020 Before 2004, that water washed across a field and the road before dumping into Hewett Fork, turning it tangerine. April Johnston, Cincinnati.com, "‘That's vinegar’: The Ohio River’s history of contamination and progress made," 26 Dec. 2019 This break from the classic holiday profile delivers stone-fruit tartness that is apricot and tangerine driven, but also with holiday notes of cinnamon and vanilla. oregonlive, "7 beers to try at the Holiday Ale Festival in downtown Portland," 5 Dec. 2019 Kumquats, calamondin, Changsha tangerine and satsumas have the most cold tolerance. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, "It’s time to seriously prepare your plants for the next San Antonio freeze," 21 Nov. 2019 The collection was bursting with color: plums and pinks, tangerine and teal, while the hems of white dresses appeared as if dip-dyed with colorful flora. Rhonda Richford, The Hollywood Reporter, "Paris Fashion Week: Valentino Turns Up the Volume With Starry Front Row," 30 Sep. 2019 This event starts at 5:30 p.m. Hours are Saturday, Dec. 14 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fruits include navel oranges, red grapefruit, tangelos, tangerines and mixed fruit. Gabrielle Copeland Schoeffield, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "West Carroll: Christmas at Atlee House; cemeteries observing Wreaths Across America Day," 11 Dec. 2019 Other girls’ clear designer see-thru [sic] tote bags: sunglasses, book, tangerine, gingham scrunchie, copy of Vogue. Sophie Kemp, Vogue, "This Writer Has No Feet, Loves Shoes, and Is the Funniest Person on Twitter," 10 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for tangerine

Time Traveler

The first known use of tangerine was in 1842

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tangerine.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tangerine. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for tangerine


How to pronounce tangerine (audio)

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 How to pronounce tangerine (audio) \

Kids Definition of tangerine

: a Chinese orange with a loose skin and sweet pulp

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More from Merriam-Webster on tangerine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tangerine

Spanish Central: Translation of tangerine

Nglish: Translation of tangerine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tangerine for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tangerine

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