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[si-truh s] /ˈsɪ trəs/
noun, plural citruses.
any small tree or spiny shrub of the genus Citrus, of the rue family, including the lemon, lime, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, citron, kumquat, and shaddock, widely cultivated for fruit or grown as an ornamental.
the tart-to-sweet, pulpy fruit of any of these trees or shrubs, having a characteristically smooth, shiny, stippled skin.
Also, citrous. of or relating to such trees or shrubs, or their fruit.
1815-25; < New Latin, Latin: citron tree Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for citrus
  • Oh yeah, stocking up on cheesecloth and light linen cloths to wrap up the citrus trees.
  • The mixing of citrus and cocoa is not an unfamiliar practice.
  • Then came the hours practicing artful citrus peels, and the insouciance concerning drinks of raw egg whites.
  • If he thought that citrus fruit would do him good, he would suck one lemon after another.
  • citrus orchards were as common to the landscape as saguaros.
  • The flesh, firm and flaky, picked up subtle hints of citrus.
  • In this dessert, sweetened citrus is suspended in its own liquid, which is made firm with powdered gelatin.
  • They may be lightly perfumed with floral scents, imparting hints of citrus or herbal flavors or be deeply pungent.
  • citrus canker is a bacterial disease that causes lesions on the leaves, stems, and fruit of citrus trees.
British Dictionary definitions for citrus


noun (pl) -ruses
any tree or shrub of the tropical and subtropical rutaceous genus Citrus, which includes the orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, citron, and calamondin
of, relating to, or belonging to the genus Citrus or to the fruits of plants of this genus
Word Origin
C19: from Latin: citrus tree, sandarac tree; related to Greek kedros cedar
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for citrus

1825, from Modern Latin genus name, from Latin citrus "citron tree," name of an African tree with aromatic wood and lemon-like fruit, the first citrus fruit to become available in the West. The name, like the tree, is probably of Asiatic origin [OED]. But Klein traces it to Greek kedros "cedar," and writes that the change of dr into tr shows that the word came from Greek into Latin through the medium of the Etruscans. As a noun, "tree of the genus Citrus," from 1885.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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citrus in Science
  1. Any of various evergreen trees or shrubs bearing fruit with juicy flesh and a thick rind. Citrus trees are native to southern and southeast Asia but are grown in warm climates around the world. Many species have spines. The orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit are citrus trees.

  2. The usually edible fruit of one of these trees or shrubs.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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