- a volatile, sharp-smelling oil used in perfume, soap, insect repellents, etc.also citronella oil
- the S Asian grass (Cymbopogon nardus) from which this oil is derived
Origin of citronellaModern Latin ; from citron: see citron
- A tropical Asian grass (Cymbopogon nardus) that has bluish-green, lemon-scented leaves and yields an essential oil.
- A pale yellow to brownish aromatic oil obtained from this plant, used chiefly in perfumery and also in some insect repellents and commercial flavorings.
Origin of citronellaNew Latin, from French citronnelle, lemon oil, diminutive of citron, citron; see citron.
(usually uncountable, plural citronellas)
From French citronnelle.