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

The notion was revisited throughout the week, with blurred neoprene tangerine applied by Jenny Coombs at Fyodor Golan countered by barely there balm—courtesy of Pat McGrath—at Victoria Beckham. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "5 Spectacular Beauty Trends That Swept the London Runways This Week," 19 Sep. 2018 Thanks to her trademark glowing skin and megawatt highlighter, the actress can pull off virtually any bold makeup risk, from a vivid tangerine lip to metallic olive eyeshadow. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Zendaya’s 20 Best Rule-Breaking Hair Moments on the Red Carpet," 9 May 2019 To contrast the green tones on her eyes, Mayo topped Lizzo's cheeks with a tangerine blush, specifically the Make Up For Ever Second Skin Cream Blush in 515 Tangerine. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Lizzo Paired Drugstore Lashes With Neon Green Makeup at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards," 29 Mar. 2019 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

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

16 Jun 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

Comments on tangerine

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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