[ si-truhs ]

noun,plural cit·rus·es.
  1. 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.

  2. the tart-to-sweet, pulpy fruit of any of these trees or shrubs, having a characteristically smooth, shiny, stippled skin.

  1. Also citrous . of or relating to such trees or shrubs, or their fruit.

Origin of citrus

1815–25; <New Latin, Latin: citron tree

Words Nearby citrus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use citrus in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for citrus


/ (ˈsɪtrəs) /

nounplural -ruses
  1. any tree or shrub of the tropical and subtropical rutaceous genus Citrus, which includes the orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, citron, and calamondin

adjectiveAlso: citrous
  1. of, relating to, or belonging to the genus Citrus or to the fruits of plants of this genus

Origin of citrus

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

Scientific definitions for citrus


[ sĭtrəs ]

  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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.