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


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

After schooling his award-winning Irish chestnut gelding, Mr. Babington dismounted in a tent set aside for top riders and handed him off to a groom. New York Times, "Where to Show Off Your $5 Million Horse," 31 Aug. 2019 With jockey John Velazquez aboard, the chestnut son of Noble Mission covered the 1¼ miles in 2 minutes, 1.05 seconds and paid $10.80, $5.20 and $3.80 on a sunny day with temperatures in the mid-70s. John Kekis, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Derby runner-up Code of Honor wins Travers Stakes," 24 Aug. 2019 The 5,500-square-foot house boasts original features like wormy chestnut walls, exposed beam ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a glass atrium ceiling in the kitchen. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Mountain retreat with midcentury touches asks $1.5M," 19 Aug. 2019 The mule pair, both with chestnut coats, both worked for years on an Amish farm, according to owner Franklin Fleming, of Mount Airy. Erin B. Logan,, "Tradition of mule pulling hanging on at Howard County Fair," 7 Aug. 2019 In 1843, the artist Margaret Gillies painted a miniature portrait of a wide-eyed, chestnut-haired Charles Dickens. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The Charles Dickens Museum Acquires ‘Lost’ Portrait of the Author as a Young Man," 20 July 2019 Instagram/@LilyAldridge Joke's on me! Instagram/@LilyAldridge The supermodel typically keeps it conservative with her dark chestnut color, wearing it in a sleek bun, soft waves, or styled super-straight. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Lily Aldridge Just Dyed Her Hair Platinum Blonde and Looks Unrecognizable," 15 July 2019 Either way, the actress' latest lob is a dark-chestnut shade accented with caramel highlights and styled into subtle, undone waves that has her right on trend for summer 2019. Rachel Lubitz,, "Sandra Bullock Just Debuted The Ultimate Summer Hairstyle," 13 July 2019 Oh, and pickled Tropea onions and ricotta affumicata, smoked over chestnut wood and herbs. Frances Mayes, National Geographic, "Discover Italy’s most delicious secret," 11 July 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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Statistics for chestnut

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chestnut

The first known use of chestnut was in 1519

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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 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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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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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