tangerine

noun tan·ger·ine \ ˈtan-jə-ˌrēn , ˌtan-jə-ˈ \
Updated on: 9 Nov 2017

Definition of tangerine

1 a :any of various mandarin oranges that have usually deep orange skin and pulp; broadly :mandarin 3b
b :a tree producing tangerines
2 :a moderate to strong reddish orange

tangerine was our Word of the Day on 02/23/2014. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of tangerine from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

When tangerine was first used in the early 18th 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.

Origin and Etymology of tangerine

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


TANGERINE Defined for English Language Learners

tangerine

noun

Definition of tangerine for English Language Learners

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

  • : a deep orange-yellow color


TANGERINE Defined for Kids

tangerine

noun tan·ger·ine \ ˈtan-jə-ˌrēn \

Definition of tangerine for Students

:a Chinese orange with a loose skin and sweet pulp


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up tangerine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to buzz or drone

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!