Definition of citronella in English:


Line breaks: cit¦ron|ella
Pronunciation: /sɪtrəˈnɛlə


1 (also citronella oil) [mass noun] A fragrant natural oil used as an insect repellent and in perfume and soap manufacture: [as modifier]: citronella candles
More 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 South Asian grass from which citronella oil is obtained.
  • Cymbopogon nardus, family Gramineae
More 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.

Definition of citronella in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day deictic
Pronunciation: ˈdīktik
denoting a word whose meaning depends on context...