\ ˈā-ˌkȯrn How to pronounce acorn (audio) , -kərn How to pronounce acorn (audio) \

Definition of acorn

: 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 Certainly squirrels are happy as many of our oak trees are reaching a good acorn-producing age. Tom Maccubbin,, "Bromeliads aren’t picky about soil," 19 Dec. 2020 Then, during the group date, Anna goes out of her way to hurt Brittany by hiding her acorn during an obstacle course challenge. Ariana Romero,, "The Bachelor Wasn’t Ready To Tackle Sex Work," 26 Jan. 2021 As far as pumpkin goes, any winter squash, such as acorn or butternut work perfectly. Miska Lewis, Bon Appétit, "Porotos Con Riendas is the Stew to End All Stews," 21 Jan. 2021 Normally $378, this purse is on sale right now for just $111.30 in an acorn brown coated canvas with leather trim. Arielle Tschinkel, USA TODAY, "This classic Michael Kors bag is hugely popular—and it's 70% off," 15 Jan. 2021 A mast year, with its abundant food, also tends to lead to a population boom among the acorn predators. Beth Botts,, "Acorns are in short supply this year — here’s why," 28 Nov. 2020 Tree watchers say oak trees generally start significant acorn production at about 20 years of age and continue until 80 years of age, when production decreases. Tom Maccubbin,, "Bromeliads aren’t picky about soil," 19 Dec. 2020 Designed by renowned Native American artist Roxanne Swentzell, the lobby sculpture depicts a woman and child taking part in the traditional Luiseño practice of grinding acorn to create a meal known as wiiwish. Ron Donoho Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Openings, renovations move forward at area’s casinos," 13 Dec. 2020 The Neches River bottom provides chunks of hardwood habitat with good acorn production and food sources. Matt Wyatt,, "Crockett National Forest scouting trip becomes Diboll man’s hunt of a lifetime," 19 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acorn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of acorn

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for acorn

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.

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Time Traveler for acorn

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Acorn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for acorn



English Language Learners Definition of acorn

: the nut of the oak tree


\ ˈā-ˌkȯrn How to pronounce acorn (audio) , -kərn \

Kids Definition of acorn

: the nut of the oak tree

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More from Merriam-Webster on acorn

Nglish: Translation of acorn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of acorn for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about acorn

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