: the nut of the oak usually seated in or surrounded by a hard woody cupule of indurated bracts

Illustration of acorn

Illustration of acorn

Examples of acorn in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During years with a heavy acorn crop, hunters tend to harvest fewer deer, Harper says. Alex Robinson, Outdoor Life, 26 Oct. 2023 Several readers said their oaks weren’t producing an excess of acorns. John Kelly, Washington Post, 9 Oct. 2023 The restaurant debuted with a casual walk-up format and a large deli-style case rife with banchan and salads such as chilled acorn noodles in perilla-seed vinaigrette. Stephanie Breijo, Los Angeles Times, 26 Sep. 2023 White placemats neatly lined the edges of the table, along with brown plates, cloth napkins, and little acorns at the center that appeared to feature each guest’s name. Natalia Senanayake, Peoplemag, 24 Nov. 2023 The spot was in a hardwood bottom with plenty of oak trees dropping acorns, and Rickey blind grunted and rattled to try and draw the enormous buck into gun range. Outdoor Life, 8 Nov. 2023 Use smaller twigs, leaves, and acorns as an accent. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 26 Oct. 2023 Its flesh is similar to that of an acorn or butternut squash or a Cinderella pumpkin. Christina Morales, New York Times, 20 Oct. 2023 Still, some readers bear the scars of the acorn explosion. John Kelly, Washington Post, 9 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'acorn.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English akorn, akkorn (partially assimilated to corn "kernel, corn entry 1"), hakerne, accherne, accharne, going back to Old English æcern, going back to Germanic *akrana- (whence also Middle High German ackeran "tree nuts," Old Norse akarn, Gothic akran "fruit, produce"); akin to Old Irish írne "sloe, kernel," Welsh eirin "plums, sloes," aeron "fruits, berries," going back to Celtic *agrinyo-, *agranyo-; perhaps further akin to a Balto-Slavic word with an initial long vowel (Old Church Slavic agoda "fruit," Polish jagoda "berry," Lithuanian úoga)

Note: Taken to be a derivative of Indo-European *h2eǵros "uncultivated field, pasture" (see acre), though this would seem to exclude the Balto-Slavic etymon, which lacks the suffix, from consideration. It is also not clear if fields, uncultivated or not, are the source of wild tree nuts.

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of acorn was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near acorn

Cite this Entry

“Acorn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acorn. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

: the roundish one-seeded thin-shelled nut of an oak tree usually having a woody cap

More from Merriam-Webster on acorn

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!