but·​ter·​nut ˈbə-tər-ˌnət How to pronounce butternut (audio)
plural butternuts
: an eastern North American tree (Juglans cinerea) of the walnut family with sweet egg-shaped nuts and light brown wood

called also white walnut

: a light yellowish brown
butternuts plural : homespun overalls dyed brown with a butternut extract
: a soldier or partisan of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War

Examples of butternut in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This tiny squash's life began in the 1980s at Cornell University as a cross between butternut and buttercup squashes. Colleen Weeden, Better Homes & Gardens, 4 Feb. 2024 This hybrid squash tastes similar to a butternut—only sweeter—and can be cooked and prepared in exactly the same ways. Colleen Weeden, Better Homes & Gardens, 4 Feb. 2024 Embrace such seeds as sunflower, pumpkin and winter squash (i.e. butternut) in granola, cookies, muffins, cakes and brittle. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, 28 Nov. 2023 Satisfying dishes include the butternut cashew nut fundido, flavorful tempeh and energizing smoothies. Kathy A. McDonald, Variety, 16 Dec. 2023 Get the Recipe 84 of 90 Coconut-Curry Butternut Squash Soup Rich, hearty coconut and butternut get a spicy helping hand from dashes of curry powder, chili powder, cinnamon, and cumin. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 1 Nov. 2023 Get The Recipe 23 of 35 Roasted Delicata Squash Enjoy the delicate sweetness of this winter squash, which is similar in flavor to butternut but has a tender, edible skin. Jenna Sims, Southern Living, 4 Nov. 2023 Dishes like butternut shrimp bisque, puppy drum amandine and roast duck in pecan gravy merge Cajun cuisine and urban Creole cooking in a style that has become as uniquely New Orleans as James Booker’s slippery rhythm and blues. Brett Anderson, New York Times, 16 Oct. 2023 Fall varieties include butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash. Byalexa Mikhail, Fortune Well, 18 Sep. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1670, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of butternut was in 1670

Dictionary Entries Near butternut

Cite this Entry

“Butternut.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/butternut. Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


but·​ter·​nut -ˌnət How to pronounce butternut (audio)
: the edible oily nut of a North American tree related to the walnut
also : this tree

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