\ 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 Two-drawer Brewton bench (59 inches wide by 15 inches deep by 18 inches high) in mahogany wood with an acorn-hued finish, $479.99. Kara Nelson | Contributing Writer,, "These benches hit the mark for for providing seating and storage and great looks," 22 Sep. 2020 Two large granaries that have been continuously restocked by successive generations of acorn woodpeckers for more than 50 years burned in the fire, and researchers are curious to see how the birds respond to the destruction. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "These Woodpeckers’ Bloody Wars Draw a Crowd," 15 Sep. 2020 Turn any ordinary pumpkin pie recipe into a gorgeous fall masterpiece with a miniature acorn cookie cutter ($5, Etsy). Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, "10 Gorgeous Pie Ideas to Steal for Thanksgiving Dinner," 3 Sep. 2020 Under proper storage conditions, acorn squashes will last one to two months and pumpkins and butternut squash from two to three months. oregonlive, "How to harvest and prep pumpkins and squash for winter storage," 24 Aug. 2020 Renfroe’s guard blew three times on an acorn whistle and one feint whistle came back. al, "Madam who saved Birmingham from cholera may have aided Alabama outlaw sheriff’s 1885 escape," 11 Aug. 2020 Available in two colors (black or acorn), the Kate bag's structured silhouette is ideal for both dumping daily essentials and carrying on-the-go. Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, "Rebecca Minkoff is having a huge sample sale—and it's up to 75% off," 26 June 2020 Three Squirrels sold 800,000 sets of assorts nuts — macadamia, cashews, sunflower seeds and acorns — by cutting the price from $7 to $4. Washington Post, "Chinese online shoppers shatter Cyber Monday records on ‘Double 11’," 11 Nov. 2019 The History The Ohlone Indians lived in what is now Alameda, eating acorns and oysters until the Spanish arrived in the 1700s and forced them to relinquish their culture. Carol Pogash, New York Times, "Alameda, Calif.: On San Francisco Bay, With Great Views and Rising Prices," 10 Mar. 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

29 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Acorn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for acorn


How to pronounce acorn (audio) How to pronounce acorn (audio)

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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