Share this entry
citronella Syllabification: cit·ron·el·la
Pronunciation: /ˌsitrəˈnelə/

Definition of citronella in English:


1 (also citronella oil) A fragrant natural oil used as an insect repellent and in perfume and soap manufacture.
Example sentences
  • New machines designed to release sprays based on citronella oil or geraniol, another plant-derived repellent with a sweet, rosy odor, also are available.
  • Repellent candles or lamps, that burn citronella oil, are readily available from hardware stores and some supermarkets.
  • Most use citronella oil as a primary bug deterrent, but some contain long lists of ‘essential’ ingredients.
2The southern Asian grass from which the citronella oil is obtained.
  • Cymbopogon nardus, family Gramineae
Example sentences
  • The citronella, or mosquito plant, is a scented geranium related to the common garden geranium.
  • Some herbs that repel fleas include: juniper, pennyroyal, citronella, eucalyptus, cedar and Canadian fleabane.
  • The research station has succeeded in making 400 lemon grass germ plasm collections, 21 pamarosa collections, 8 vetiver collections and 18 citronella collections.


Mid 19th century: modern Latin, from citron + the diminutive suffix -ella.

Words that rhyme with citronella

a cappella, Arabella, Bella, bestseller, Capella, cellar, Cinderella, Clarabella, corella, Daniela, Della, dispeller, dweller, Ella, expeller, favela, fella, fellah, feller, Fenella, Floella, foreteller, Heller, impeller, interstellar, Keller, Louella, Mandela, mortadella, mozzarella, Nigella, novella, paella, panatella, patella, predella, propeller, queller, quinella, repeller, rosella, rubella, salmonella, Santiago de Compostela, seller, smeller, speller, Stella, stellar, tarantella, teller, umbrella, Viyella
Definition of citronella in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources