Definition of hawthorn
: any of a genus (Crataegus) of spring-flowering spiny shrubs or small trees of the rose family with glossy and often lobed leaves, white or pink fragrant flowers, and small red fruits
hawthorn was our Word of the Day on 04/21/2010. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Recent Examples of hawthorn from the Web
While the wort is boiling, put the hawthorn berries ina blender, cover with wort (liqwuied from the brewpot—caution: hot), and carefully purée.
Some 8.4 million trees dot the city: birch, lime, apple, sycamore, oak, hawthorn, and many more.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hawthorn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
hawthorn Has Old English Roots
A hawthorn is a thorny shrub or tree which can be planted into a hedge, and this fact provides a hint about the origins of the plant's name. The word hawthorn traces back to the Old English word hagathorn, a combination of "haga" ("hedge") and "thorn" (same meaning as the modern "thorn" or "thornbush"). "Haga" was also used in Old English for the hawthorn itself, but by the 12th century the "thorn" had been added to its name.
HAWTHORN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of hawthorn for English Language Learners
: a type of bush or small tree with white or pink flowers and small red fruits
HAWTHORN Defined for Kids
Definition of hawthorn for Students
: a thorny shrub or small tree with shiny leaves, white, pink, or red flowers, and small red fruits
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up hawthorn? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).