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
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    • 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.

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