• synonyms


or cum·quat

  1. a small, round or oblong citrus fruit having a sweet rind and acid pulp, used chiefly for preserves.
  2. any of several citrus shrubs of the genus Fortunella, native to China, that bear this fruit.
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Origin of kumquat

1865–70; < dialectal Chinese (Guangdong) gāmgwāt gold citrus fruit, akin to Chinese jīnjù
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for kumquat



  1. any of several small Chinese trees of the rutaceous genus Fortunella
  2. the small round orange fruit of such a tree, with a sweet rind, used in preserves and confections
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Word Origin

C17: from Chinese (Cantonese) kam kwat, representing Mandarin Chinese chin chü golden orange
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

Word Origin and History for kumquat


1690s, from Chinese (Cantonese) kamkwat, from kam "golden" + kwat "orange." Cantonese dialectal form of Chinese kin-ku.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper