Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several trees or shrubs of the genus Fortunella, having small, edible, orangelike fruit.
  • noun The fruit of any of these plants, having an acid pulp and a thin, edible rind.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See cumquat.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) any of several trees or shrubs of the genus Fortunella (formerly Citrus) of the rue family (Rutaceae) (especially Citrus Japonica) growing in China and Japan bearing small orange-colored edible fruits with thick sweet-flavored skin and sour pulp; also, any of the small acid, orange-colored citrus fruits of such plants, used mostly for preserves.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A small, orange citrus-like fruit which is native to Asia.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun any of several trees or shrubs of the genus Fortunella bearing small orange-colored edible fruits with thick sweet-flavored skin and sour pulp
  • noun small oval citrus fruit with thin sweet rind and very acid pulp

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Cantonese gam1 gwat1; akin to Mandarin jīnjú : jīn, gold (from Middle Chinese kim) + , mandarin orange (from Middle Chinese kjyt; probably akin to Khmer kwic).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Cantonese 柑橘 (gam1 gwat1) or 金橘 ("golden tangerine"). Related to loquat – same second character.

Examples

  • For anyone who's never tried one, a kumquat is about the size of a cherry tomato, and is somewhat like an orange in flavor and scent, except that the peel is sweet (and edible) and what little fruit there is is tart.

    Archive 2005-01-01

  • At some point when I was a kid, I saw the word kumquat and started using it as though it were an insult.

    Six Quirky Things Meme

  • The word kumquat in itself is funny but porkquat is hilarious!

    Porkquat Stir Fry

  • At some point when I was a kid, I saw the word kumquat and started using it as though it were an insult.

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • When it came time to choose favorites, every variety got at least one vote, but the kumquat was the winner with seven votes.

    PE Angels Baseball

  • The most nutritious part of the kumquat is the peel.

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  • The most nutritious part of the kumquat is the peel.

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  • The word "kumquat" comes to us from a Cantonese word meaning "golden citrus fruit."

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  • The word "kumquat" comes to us from a Cantonese word meaning "golden citrus fruit."

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  • Chris Travers says: kumquat: This does not actually work, except via the placebo effect.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » The FDA to Target Salt

Comments

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  • My favourite word.

    January 18, 2007

  • I love it too...who wants to eat them. They sound so kinky :)

    January 24, 2008

  • Do you always have to sound so flirtatious, you big kumquat tart?

    January 24, 2008

  • Oh, man, kumquats are great. Tart, sweet; pop 'em in your mouth and eat 'em whole... And don't forget the limequat, lemonquat and the rest of their -quat ilk. Dade City, Fla., has an annual kumquat festival.

    January 24, 2008

  • Yummy! Though I kinda like them because of the sour core, not the sweet exterior.

    January 24, 2008

  • Too true, kewpid. I accidentally bought some all-sweet kumquats the other month, and they weren't worth eating. (I didn't read the label.) But I suspect all-sour kumquats would lack something too.

    June 24, 2008

  • are you all serious? i've ne'er had the pleasure of this kumquat... i'll have to locate one.

    November 25, 2008

  • Also cumquat. In Australia it's not widespread as a commercial fruit. It's popular as an ornamental citrus, and one that will do well in colder areas. Some people make marmalade from the fruit.

    November 25, 2008