hawthorn

noun
haw·​thorn | \ ˈhȯ-ˌthȯrn How to pronounce hawthorn (audio) \

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

Illustration of hawthorn

Illustration of hawthorn

hawthorn: 1 leaves and flowers, 2 fruits

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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.

Examples of hawthorn in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most major trees around North Texas made it through the cold snap fairly well (with some exceptions), but many shrubs are toast — Indian hawthorn, pittosporum, Japanese and wax ligustrum, Chinese fringe flower and agaves are pretty much wiped out. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, "As spring plants begin to bloom, a damage report from D-FW’s winter storm," 29 Mar. 2021 Indian hawthorn, flowering quince, wisteria, mountain laurel and other woody perennials will probably come through the cold snap unfazed, although some of the higher branches may be dead. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "The freeze-damaged plants in San Antonio yards have homeowners asking: How do I help my plants recover?," 23 Feb. 2021 Australian exporters might substitute 'Chinese hawthorn' for 'blackberry,' for instance, or opt for 'lychees' over 'cherries' when describing a wine’s bouquet. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "Australia’s ‘approachable’ wine won over China’s middle class. Then came the tariffs," 7 Dec. 2020 The three plants Bautista-Carolina uses most often in heart medicines are rose, violet and hawthorn. Malia Wollan, New York Times, "How to Make a Love Potion," 25 Aug. 2020 The popular Sleepytime tea from Celestial Seasonings is caffeine-free and has flavors of chamomile, spearmint, lemongrass, tilia flowers, blackberry leaves, orange blossoms, hawthorn, and rosebuds. Jessica Kasparian, USA TODAY, "10 things to help you ease anxiety around coronavirus," 17 Mar. 2020 The popular Sleepytime tea from Celestial Seasonings is caffeine-free and has flavors of chamomile, spearmint, lemongrass, tilia flowers, blackberry leaves, orange blossoms, hawthorn, and rosebuds. Jessica Kasparian, USA TODAY, "10 things to help you ease anxiety around coronavirus," 17 Mar. 2020 The popular Sleepytime tea from Celestial Seasonings is caffeine-free and has flavors of chamomile, spearmint, lemongrass, tilia flowers, blackberry leaves, orange blossoms, hawthorn, and rosebuds. Jessica Kasparian, USA TODAY, "10 things to help you ease anxiety around coronavirus," 17 Mar. 2020 The popular Sleepytime tea from Celestial Seasonings is caffeine-free and has flavors of chamomile, spearmint, lemongrass, tilia flowers, blackberry leaves, orange blossoms, hawthorn, and rosebuds. Jessica Kasparian, USA TODAY, "15 genius products people swear by for stress relief," 3 Mar. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of hawthorn

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hawthorn

Middle English hawethorn, from Old English hagathorn, from haga hawthorn + thorn — more at hedge

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Time Traveler for hawthorn

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

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Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hawthorn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hawthorn. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for hawthorn

hawthorn

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hawthorn

: a type of bush or small tree with white or pink flowers and small red fruits

hawthorn

noun
haw·​thorn | \ ˈhȯ-ˌthȯrn How to pronounce hawthorn (audio) \

Kids Definition of hawthorn

: a thorny shrub or small tree with shiny leaves, white, pink, or red flowers, and small red fruits

More from Merriam-Webster on hawthorn

Nglish: Translation of hawthorn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hawthorn

Comments on hawthorn

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