• synonyms


[si-truh l]
noun Chemistry.
  1. a pale yellow, water-insoluble, liquid aldehyde, C10H16O, having a strong lemonlike odor, consisting in natural form of two isomers (citral a or geranial and citral b or neral), usually obtained from the oils of lemon and orange or synthetically: used chiefly in perfumery, flavoring, and the synthesis of vitamin A.
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Origin of citral

First recorded in 1890–95; citr(us) + -al1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for citral

Historical Examples

  • It may be detected by the same test which was used for citral.

    Detection of the Common Food Adulterants

    Edwin M. Bruce

  • It is prepared by treating a mixture of citral and acetone with barium hydrate, and distilling in vacuo.

  • The important ingredients of lemon extract are lemon oil and citral, its aromatic constituent.

  • It is asserted that the mules of serins, citral finches, and goldfinches, are fruitful.

  • Geraniol by oxidation goes into the aldehyde, citral, which occurs in lemons, oranges and verbena flowers.

    Creative Chemistry

    Edwin E. Slosson

British Dictionary definitions for citral


  1. a yellow volatile liquid with a lemon-like odour, found in oils of lemon grass, orange, and lemon and used in perfumery: a terpene aldehyde consisting of the cis- isomer (citral-a or geranial) and the trans- isomer (citral-b or neral). Formula: (CH 3) 2 C:CH(CH 2) 2 C(CH 3):CHCHO
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Word Origin

C19: from citr (us) + -al ³
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