chest·nut | \ˈches(t)-(ˌ)nət \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of chestnut in a Sentence


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

And this white-whiskered one, characterized by its black, sleek, coat, interwoven with ripples of chestnut red, is only found in small pockets of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Lucy Sherriff, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Safari in Colombia's Still-Wild Amazon Rainforest," 23 Apr. 2018 Forty years to the day after another big chestnut, Secretariat, swept the Belmont by an astonishing 31 lengths, Justify made his own brand of history, as did the humans who nurtured his remarkable gifts. Childs Walker,, "Justify becomes 13th Triple Crown winner with thrilling Belmont victory," 9 June 2018 Visits to my father's office in Manhattan would yield trips to Wienerwald for foreign sausages steamed with sauerkraut; salty pretzels and charred roast chestnuts from street carts; the mysterious joys of the dirty-water hot dog. Anthony Bourdain, Bon Appetit, "How Anthony Bourdain Came to Be Anthony Bourdain," 8 June 2018 Add challah, chestnuts, fruit, poultry seasoning, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste. Country Living, "Challah Stuffing with Chestnuts and Dried Fruit," 28 Sep. 2010 The government is introducing legislation to encourage the planting of more slow-growing native species, such as cork trees, holm oaks, or chestnut trees, which are more resilient to flames and can slow the advance of wildfires. Barry Hatton, The Christian Science Monitor, "Portugal races to protect its citizens against wildfires – with goats," 13 June 2018 The three-year-old chestnut colt became the 13th horse ever to win the Triple Crown of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes after a dominant victory at Belmont Park in New York Saturday. Bianca Britton, CNN, "Justify's value skyrockets to $60M with Triple Crown win at Belmont Park," 11 June 2018 Meet the new wave of Ugg boots: the Kasen, which come in chestnut and black colorways as well as short and tall styles. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "The New Ugg Boots Are Here And They're Anything But Basic," 6 Dec. 2017 The Belmont Stakes provided a coronation for Justify, as well as another massive accomplishment for Bob Baffert, the elite trainer who can take credit for his second Triple Crown in four years when the chestnut horse won Saturday. Des Bieler,, "Did Justify get undue help from another Bob Baffert horse in winning at Belmont?," 10 June 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chestnut

Statistics for chestnut

Last Updated

4 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chestnut

The first known use of chestnut was in 1519

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for chestnut



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 \

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on chestnut

What made you want to look up chestnut? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!