tangerine

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DEFINITION

noun
1a. any of various mandarin oranges that have usually deep orange skin and pulp; broadly : the fruit of a mandarin;
b. a tree producing tangerines;
2. a moderate to strong reddish orange.

EXAMPLES
1. The room was painted a cool gray color and the floor was a darker gray, but in the corner were two chairs upholstered in a bold tangerine.
2. “There’s not much seasonal produce in Ohio in January, but in Florida and California, this month is the height of the citrus season. Oranges, grapefruits and tangerines are not just for breakfast and snacks.” — From an article by Harry S. Conte in the Newark (Ohio) Advocate, January 21, 2014.

DID YOU KNOW?
When today’s Word of the Day was first used in the early 18th century it was an adjective we’d borrowed from French to describe people or things from or relating to the Moroccan city of Tangier. (The French name for “Tangier” is “Tanger.”) Within about a hundred years the noun “tangerine” was being used to refer to the fruit we now know by that name. Although tangerines were at one time thought to be native to Morocco, they are now thought to be indigenous to southeast Asia. As our definition explains, tangerines are technically a kind of mandarin orange—and “mandarin” is another word we got from the French. The French “mandarine” is most likely originally from the Portuguese word “mandarim,” which etymologists believe is probably from the color of a Chinese mandarin’s robes.

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