type of citrus tree, also its fruit (similar to bitter orange), and the essence prepared from the oil of the rind of the fruit (formerly much used in perfumery), 1690s, from French bergamote (17c.), from Italian bergamotta, named for Bergamo, town in northern Italy. The name is Roman Bergamum, from a Celtic or Ligurian berg "mountain," cognate with the identical Germanic word.
Earlier (1610s) as a kind of pear deemed especially luscious; in this sense the word is ultimately a Romanic folk-etymologization of Turkish beg-armudi "prince's pear" or "prince of pears," influenced in form by the place-name (probably not directly from the town name, because it is on the opposite end of the peninsula from where the pear grows). Also used of garden plants of the mint order with a smell like that of oil of bergamot (1843).