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 Select one of nine colors (or a combo) and 17 fragrances, like strawberry guava, tangerine or vanilla; then, melt down the soap to fill the reusable molds. Meghan Kavanaugh, USA TODAY, "41 thoughtful DIY gifts anyone would love," 4 Nov. 2020 That includes other songbirds, including redpolls, chickadees, and, as Wright saw, tangerine and red pine grosbeaks, which are about the same size as a shrike. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Meet the northern shrike, a rare carnivorous songbird," 5 Dec. 2020 This matte lipstick is on sale in shades like wild lilac, exotic tangerine, electric pink and more. Madison Trapkin, USA TODAY, "Black Friday 2020: The best Ulta and Sephora deals," 26 Nov. 2020 Consider Armani Beauty’s feel-good tangerine-colored Lip Maestro an instant pick-me-up. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Meet Marisa Abela, the Breakout Star of the New HBO Series Industry," 2 Nov. 2020 Hartley offered Carr a fresh tangerine, and then the women jumped out and took a picture with him, squeezing in close, on either side. Paige Williams, The New Yorker, "The Changing Meaning of the American Flag Under Trump," 14 Oct. 2020 Simply peel a Cuties Mandarin orange or tangerine and trim one-third of a celery stick to a thin stem. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "From 'spooktacular' trees to ghoulish treats, how to do Halloween in (safe!) style in 2020," 12 Oct. 2020 Startling in August, freak lightning storms, errant campfires, and a gender reveal party ignited fast-racing wildfires across the state, which blanketed homes outside the firelines with ash and turned the skies above the Bay Area a dusky tangerine. Aarian Marshall, Wired, "California Plans to Ban Sales of Gas-Powered Cars by 2035," 23 Sep. 2020 There currently are two flavors — a blueberry tangerine fruited sour beer combined with lactose sugar and just a splash of in-house vodka; and a similar version made with raspberries and passion fruit. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Eagle Park Brewing offers soft-serve 'ice cream' cones made with beer and a splash of vodka," 14 Sep. 2020

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

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tangerine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tangerine. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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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

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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