Definition of kumquat in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkəmˌkwät/
(also cumquat)


1An orangelike fruit related to the citruses, with an edible sweet rind and acid pulp. It is eaten raw or used in preserves.
Example sentences
  • It went nicely with hazelnut ice cream, or poached kumquats, or even a dribbling of sabayon.
  • For pudding there was ice cream and a selection of fruit including kumquats - small Chinese oranges.
  • Consider adding whole lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits and even kumquats to main courses as they cook.
2The eastern Asian shrub or small tree that yields the kumquat.
  • Genus Fortunella, family Rutaceae.
Example sentences
  • As the official Xinhua news agency described the scene: ‘The banquet hall, decked out with blooming narcissus and fruit-bearing kumquats, was full of cheers and laughter.’


Late 17th century: from Chinese (Cantonese dialect) kam kwat 'little orange'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: kum·quat

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.