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.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for kumquat

Contemporary Examples of kumquat

  • I love the sweet-tart taste of fresh cranberries, and the combination with kumquat is the perfect pitch.

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    Turkey Day Bacchanal

    Christopher Idone

    November 23, 2009

Historical Examples of kumquat

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

Word Origin for kumquat

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper