Definition: Orange

From New World Encyclopedia
(Redirected from Orange)


From Middle English orenge, orange, from Old French pome orenge (fruit orange), influenced by the place name Orange (which is from Gaulish and unrelated to the word for the fruit and color) and by Old Occitan auranja and calqued from Old Italian melarancio, melarancia, compound of mela (apple) and un'arancia (an orange), from Arabic نَارَنْج or nāranj, from Early Classical Persian نارنگ or nārang, from Sanskrit नारङ्ग or nāraṅga (orange tree), from Proto-Dravidian *nār- (compare Tamil நார்த்தங்காய் or nārttaṅkāy, compound of நரந்தம் or narantam (fragrance) and காய் or kāy (fruit); also Telugu నారంగము or nāraṅgamu, Malayalam നാരങ്ങ or nāraṅṅa, Kannada ನಾರಂಗಿ or nāraṅgi).

Originally borrowed as the surname (derived from the place name) in the thirteenth century, before the sense of the fruit was imported in the late fourteenth century and the color in 1510. In the color sense, largely replaced Old English ġeolurēad, English yellow-red (compare English blue-green).


New World Encyclopedia has an article about Orange (fruit).

orange (countable and uncountable, plural oranges)

  1. An evergreen tree of the genus Citrus such as Citrus sinensis.
    I took a trip to Florida to look at the orange trees.
  2. The fruit of the orange tree; a citrus fruit with a slightly sour flavour.
    I eat oranges a few times a year.
  3. The color of a ripe fruit of an orange tree, midway between red and yellow.
    I picked orange for the color of the banner.
  4. (heraldry) An orange-colored roundel.

Usage notes

It is commonly stated that orange has no rhymes. While there are no commonly used English dictionary words that rhyme exactly with orange (door hinge comes close in US pronunciation).

In most dialects, orange is pronounced with two syllables. But in certain dialects of North American English, the vowel of the second syllable is deleted and the word is pronounced as one syllable. In such dialects, the two forms are generally allophonic.

Derived terms

  • bitter orange
  • blood orange
  • code orange
  • mandarin orange
  • orangeade
  • orange blossom
  • Orange Bowl
  • orange chicken
  • orange grove
  • orange juice
  • orange peel
  • orange tree
  • orangewood
  • sour orange
  • sweet orange
  • wild orange


orange (comparative oranger or more orange, superlative orangest or most orange)

  1. Having the color of the fruit of an orange tree; yellowred; reddish-yellow.
    It took me years of searching to find an orange shirt.


orange (third-person singular simple present oranges, present participle oranging, simple past and past participle oranged)

  1. To color orange.
  2. To become orange.


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