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

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The Parlour View this post on Instagram New flavor(s) alert: Mexican chocolate and tangerine are in the case! Julia Gall, Marie Claire, "Visiting Durham, N.C.? Here's Where to Stay, Eat, and Drink," 8 Feb. 2019 Cut peel and outer white membrane from grapefruit and tangerines, following curve of fruit; then cut fruit into 1/2-in. Sunset, "Citrus, Avocado, and Pumpkin Seed Salsa," 22 Jan. 2018 The Birthday Lip Trio has three shades: The After Party (electric tangerine), Shots (golden glittery red), and Victoria (a brick red, presumably named after Jenner's assistant). Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner's 21st Birthday Kylie Cosmetics Collection Is Her Most Personal Yet," 31 July 2018 Douglas fir shoots, for example, taste like tart citrus and pair well with a salad of tangerines, creamy avocado and a drizzle of fruity olive oil; calendula, with its pungent, eucalyptus-like essence, tames the funk of game meats. Leilani Marie Labong, San Francisco Chronicle, "Forage for your food: Shed chef leads backcountry hunts for freshest ingredients," 17 Jan. 2018 No one here had done anything that audacious before, and now everyone is talking about that screaming tangerine. Barbara King, House Beautiful, "Amanda Lindroth on Decorating an Old-Fashioned House with Island Spririt," 3 Nov. 2014 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

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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Last Updated

24 Feb 2019

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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 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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