noun (1), often attributive
\ ˈkȯrn \

Definition of corn

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 chiefly dialectal : a small hard particle : grain
2 : a small hard seed usually used in combination peppercornbarleycorn
3 British : the grain of a cereal grass that is the primary crop of a region (such as wheat in Britain and oats in Scotland and Ireland) also : a plant that produces corn
4a : a tall annual cereal grass (Zea mays) originally domesticated in Mexico and widely grown for its large elongated ears of starchy seeds

called also Indian corn, maize

b : the typically yellow or whitish seeds of corn used especially as food for humans and livestock
c : an ear of corn with or without its leafy outer covering
6a : something (such as writing, music, or acting) that is corny
b : the quality or state of being corny : corniness
7 : corn snow


corned; corning; corns

Definition of corn (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to form into grains : granulate
2a : to preserve or season with salt in grains
b : to cure or preserve in brine containing preservatives and often seasonings corned beef
3 : to feed with corn


noun (2)

Definition of corn (Entry 3 of 3)

: a local hardening and thickening of epidermis (as on a toe)

First Known Use of corn

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for corn

Noun (1)

Middle English, going back to Old English, "grain of a cereal grass, seed, berry," going back to Germanic *kurno- (whence also Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Old High German & Old Norse korn "grain of a cereal grass, seed," Gothic kaurn), going back to European Indo-European *ǵr̥H-no-, whence also Latin grānum "seed, especially of a cereal grass," Old Irish grán, Welsh grawn, Old Church Slavic zrĭno "grain, seed," Serbian & Croatian zȑno, Russian zernó, Lithuanian žìrnis "pea"

Note: The noun *ǵr̥H-no is sometimes taken to be a zero-grade derivative of Indo-European *ǵerh2- "become old, ripen" (see geronto-), but this has been disputed.


derivative of corn entry 1

Noun (2)

Middle English corne, probably borrowed from Medieval Latin cornū "horn, horny excrescence," going back to Latin, "horn" — more at horn

Note: Late Old English corn in this sense, attested in the medical text Lacnunga, a collection of remedies, charms and prayers, may be from Latin or an extended sense of Old English corn corn entry 1.

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corn aphid

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Time Traveler for corn

The first known use of corn was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for corn


\ ˈkȯrn \

Kids Definition of corn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a tall American cereal grass plant widely grown for its large ears of starchy grain which come in many varieties
2 : the seeds of a corn plant that are used especially as food for humans and animals and are typically yellow or whitish
3 : an ear of corn with or without its leafy outer covering We spent the afternoon picking corn.



Kids Definition of corn (Entry 2 of 2)

: a hardening and thickening of the skin (as on a person's toe)


\ ˈkȯ(ə)rn \

Medical Definition of corn

: a local hardening and thickening of epidermis (as on a toe)

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More from Merriam-Webster on corn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with corn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for corn

Spanish Central: Translation of corn

Nglish: Translation of corn for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on corn

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


to gather or build up little by little

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