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

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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 Virginia fowl, chestnut stuffing, baked yams, and cauliflower with cheese – that Lincoln ate before he was shot at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. Peter Krouse, cleveland, "Scholar to explain why Abraham Lincoln chose Andrew Johnson as replacement running mate," 6 Feb. 2020 One pie holds black kale and the spicy spreadable sausage nduja, another crispy guanciale and chestnut honey, a third tuna belly and caper mayonnaise, with each hiding a pizza wheel for DIY cutting. oregonlive, "Two San Francisco pizzerias opened within a calzone’s throw of each other; should Portland care?," 30 Jan. 2020 Dust with the our and cook another 3 minutes, then add the mushrooms, chestnuts, and broth. Daniel Boulud, ELLE Decor, "Recipe: American Potpie Gets A French Twist," 11 Sep. 2017 Add the chestnuts and cook until golden, about 5 minutes., "Recipe: French Chestnut-Mushroom Soup," 11 Dec. 2019 Hunting, fishing, and foraging were part of everyday life in the 17th century, and one abundant source of food was hard mast, such as beechnuts, hickory, chestnuts, and even acorns. Matthew Every, Outdoor Life, "8 Wild Recipes to Recreate the First Thanksgiving," 26 Nov. 2019 Chestnut-Apple Stuffing Portland food writer Ivy Manning came up with this terrific flavor combination, taking advantage of Oregon chestnuts and sweet apples from Washington. oregonlive, "15 Thanksgiving stuffing, dressing recipes to dress up the holiday table," 22 Nov. 2019 The menu: Starters of prosciutto, burrata, pickles and more; roasted turkey or delicata squash; chestnut and oyster mushroom dressing; dinner rolls; Brussels sprouts; sweet potatoes; Dutch apple pie; and pumpkin cheesecake. Josie Sexton, The Know, "10 Denver restaurants serving a better-than-home-cooked dinner this Thanksgiving," 19 Nov. 2019 The meal also comes with a choice of three holiday side dishes such as Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and dried cherries, crème Fraîche mashed potatoes and chives and green bean casserole with crispy onions. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "8 places to order fully-prepared complete Thanksgiving dinner to go," 17 Nov. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for chestnut

Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chestnut.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for chestnut


How to pronounce chestnut (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of chestnut

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a type of tree that produces large, sweet nuts that can be eaten
: the nut of a chestnut tree
: the wood of a chestnut tree



English Language Learners Definition of chestnut (Entry 2 of 2)

: of a reddish-brown color


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

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