chest·​nut | \ ˈches(t)-(ˌ)nət How to pronounce chestnut (audio) \

Definition of chestnut

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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 U.S. but has now been largely eliminated by the chestnut blight and seldom grows beyond the shrub or sapling stage
b : the edible nut of a chestnut
c : the wood of a chestnut
2 : a grayish to reddish brown
4 : a chestnut-colored animal specifically : a horse having a body color of any shade of pure or reddish brown with mane, tail, and points of the same or a lighter shade — compare bay entry 2 sense 1, sorrel entry 1 sense 1
5 : a callosity on the inner side of the leg of the horse — see horse illustration
6a : an old joke or story
b : something (such as a musical piece or a saying) repeated to the point of staleness



Definition of chestnut (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of the color chestnut
2 : of, relating to, or resembling a chestnut

Examples of chestnut in a Sentence

Noun an op-ed piece that's offers nothing but warmed-over chestnuts for solving the city's financial woes
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Its chestnut-brown wooden tapered legs offer mid-century modern charm, while the soft leather gel cushions spell no-compromise comfort (plus it’s faux leather, which is a plus in our books). Rachel Klein, Popular Mechanics, 27 Apr. 2022 Molly was a chestnut saddlebred, prone to shying and taking off at a gallop and pinning her ears and snapping at other horses. Rachel May, Outside Online, 12 July 2021 The holiday meal would often feature roasted goose (Weihnachtsgans) with chestnut stuffing, potato dumplings (Kartoffelknödel) and red cabbage although chicken, roast beef or rabbit would sometimes take the place of the goose. Kathryn Gregory, The Courier-Journal, 23 Jan. 2018 Instead of her signature sleek bun, Shayk opted to show off the length of her wavy chestnut locks, wearing the minimalist hair trend in a recent Instagram post. Janae Mckenzie, Glamour, 2 Apr. 2022 Deep spicy accords of chestnut, Madagascan vanilla, and labdanum add body and longevity. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 31 Mar. 2022 The fact that this new take on an old chestnut is coming to a theater near you almost feels like an afterthought — it is specifically designed to be watched in a state of distraction and/or defenseless against its aggressive attempts to charm. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 24 Mar. 2022 The adaptable color can go a few different ways — auburn, with blonde highlights à la Ciara, chestnut red like Sweeney, or more fiery, like Hadid opted for during this year's fashion month. Amina Ayoud, Allure, 23 Mar. 2022 Chopra swept her long, chestnut hair up in a bun, and was bedecked in a collection of silver necklaces with detailed pendants. ELLE, 20 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of chestnut


1519, in the meaning defined at sense 1b


1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chestnut


Middle English chasteine, chesten chestnut tree, from Anglo-French chastein, chestain, from Latin castanea, from Greek kastanea

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Time Traveler for chestnut

Time Traveler

The first known use of chestnut was in 1519

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Dictionary Entries Near chestnut



chestnut-backed chickadee

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Statistics for chestnut

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Chestnut.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for chestnut


chest·​nut | \ ˈches-ˌnət How to pronounce chestnut (audio) \

Kids Definition of chestnut

1 : a sweet edible nut that grows in burs on a tree related to the beech
2 : a reddish brown


chest·​nut | \ ˈches-(ˌ)nət How to pronounce chestnut (audio) \

Medical Definition of chestnut

1a : 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
2 : a callosity on the inner side of the leg of the horse

More from Merriam-Webster on chestnut

Nglish: Translation of chestnut for Spanish Speakers

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


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