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Definition of CHESTNUT
a: any of a genus (Castanea) of trees or shrubs of the beech family; especially: an American tree (C. dentata) that was formerly a dominant or codominant member of many deciduous forests of the eastern United States but has now been largely eliminated by the chestnut blight and seldom grows beyond the shrub or sapling stage
a: a tree or shrub of the genus Castanea (C. dentata) that is found in eastern North America and the leaf of which was formerly used to prepare an infusion for the treatment of whooping cough b: the edible nut of a chestnut
: a callosity on the inner side of the leg of the horse
Any of four species of deciduous ornamental and timber trees of the genus Castanea, in the beech family. Native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, they bear burrlike fruits that contain two or three edible nuts. The usually tall trees have furrowed bark and lance-shaped leaves. The American chestnut (C. dentata), which once extended over a large area of eastern North America, has been almost eliminated by chestnut blight. The other three species are the European chestnut (C. sativa), the Chinese chestnut (C. mollissima), and the Japanese chestnut (C. crenata). The nuts of these three have local importance as food and are exported in large quantities, and varieties of all three are cultivated as ornamentals. The European chestnut produces useful timber as well; the American chestnut also was an important source of lumber and nuts before the arrival of the blight.