hick·​o·​ry | \ ˈhi-k(ə-)rē How to pronounce hickory (audio) \
plural hickories

Definition of hickory

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : any of a genus (Carya) of North American hardwood trees of the walnut family that often have sweet edible nuts
b : the usually tough wood of a hickory
2 : a switch or cane (as of hickory wood) used especially for punishing a child


geographical name
Hick·​o·​ry | \ ˈhi-kə-rē How to pronounce Hickory (audio) \

Definition of Hickory (Entry 2 of 2)

city in west central North Carolina population 40,010

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Other Words from hickory


hickory adjective

Examples of hickory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Beyond the windows were rows of soon-to-bud grapevines and a mashup of hickory and pecan trees known as hicans. Lori Rackl, chicagotribune.com, "A wine country weekend close to home: Southwest Michigan's vineyards boast variety — and a cute new B&B," 5 June 2019 The Old Fashioned arrives at Chakib Ljazouli’s table with an orange rind, two black cherries and curls of hickory smoke licking the rim. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "Nice ice, baby: Fancy ‘clear ice’ taking South Florida cocktails to cooler heights," 26 July 2019 When thinking of a woody beer, imagine the flavors of oak or hickory-aged whiskey infused into a craft beer. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "Real, Wild and Woody craft beer festival is 'a love letter' to Arizona's beer culture," 16 July 2019 Booker makes fine flake salt, and regular and smoked salt — using live oak, hickory, and pecan wood — that come in grinders. Bella English, BostonGlobe.com, "At this S.C. distillery, creativity seems to be the main ingredient," 9 July 2019 Oaks are the number one choice, followed by willow, cherry, birch, crabapple, maple, pine, hickory, hawthorn and spruce, in descending order. Ellen Nibali, baltimoresun.com, "What other native trees should I plant?," 13 June 2019 Top allergens in the area are grass, mulberry and hickory. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Why Louisville is one of the worst places to live with allergies," 25 Feb. 2019 Today’s proliferation of barbecue joints is creating a shortage of Alabama hickory, in turn hiking the prices. Eric Velasco, al.com, "Meet the crew who makes Birmingham’s barbecue," 3 June 2019 Boots are rinsed free of sand and hung to dry atop the hickory handles of peaveys jabbed into logs. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Lost Art of Floating Logs Down the River," 16 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hickory.' 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 hickory


1670, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for hickory


short for obsolete pokahickory, from Virginia Algonquian pawcohiccora food prepared from pounded nuts

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Statistics for hickory

Last Updated

25 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hickory

The first known use of hickory was in 1670

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English Language Learners Definition of hickory

: a type of tree that has very hard wood and that produces nuts which can be eaten
: the wood of a hickory tree


hick·​o·​ry | \ ˈhi-kə-rē How to pronounce hickory (audio) , ˈhi-krē\
plural hickories

Kids Definition of hickory

: a tall tree that has strong tough wood and bears an edible nut ( hickory nut ) in a hard shell

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More from Merriam-Webster on hickory

Spanish Central: Translation of hickory

Nglish: Translation of hickory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hickory

Comments on hickory

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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