essence of bergamot
- a small citrus tree, Citrus aurantium bergamia, having fruit with a rind that yields a fragrant essential oil.
- Also called essence of bergamot. the oil or essence itself.
- any of various plants of the mint family, as Monarda fistulosa, yielding an oil resembling essence of bergamot.
- a variety of pear.
Origin of bergamot
- Also called: bergamot orange a small Asian spiny rutaceous tree, Citrus bergamia, having sour pear-shaped fruit
- essence of bergamot a fragrant essential oil from the fruit rind of this plant, used in perfumery and some teas (including Earl Grey)
- a Mediterranean mint, Mentha citrata, that yields an oil similar to essence of bergamot
- wild bergamota North American plant, Monarda fistulosa, with clusters of purple flowers: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
- a garden plant of the same genus, usually M. didyma (bee balm), grown for its scarlet or pink flowers
- a variety of pear
Word Origin for bergamot
type of citrus tree, also its fruit, both similar to bitter orange, and the essence prepared from the oil of the rind of the fruit, 1690s, from French bergamote (17c.), from Italian bergamotta, named for Bergamo, town in Italy. The name is Roman Bergamum, from a Celtic or Ligurian berg "mountain," cognate with the identical Germanic word.
Earlier (1610s) as a kind of pear deemed especially luscious, in this sense ultimately a Romanic folk-etymologization from Turkish beg-armudi "prince's pear" or "prince of pears," influenced in form by the other word, but probably not from it (the town is on the opposite end of the peninsula from where the pear grows). Also used of garden plants of the mint order with a smell like that of oil of bergamot.