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 Known for its striking timber-frame design and pork butts cooked 12 to 14 hours over hickory and cherry, The Original Big Woods, 60 Molly’s Lane, reopens in March with entirely new décor, food and drinks, the company reported this morning. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "The Original Big Woods restaurant is closing in Nashville for a menu overhaul," 30 Dec. 2019 Hunting, fishing, and foraging were part of everyday life in the 17th century, and one abundant source of food was hard mast, such as beechnuts, hickory, chestnuts, and even acorns. Matthew Every, Outdoor Life, "8 Wild Recipes to Recreate the First Thanksgiving," 26 Nov. 2019 Native hardwoods like hickory and sycamore festoon the banks of the river, which meanders through the 40-acre cattle farm tucked into the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Carrie Arnold, National Geographic, "Veterinary drugs are wreaking havoc on wildlife worldwide," 6 Dec. 2019 Pecans, which come from another type of hickory native to the southern U.S. and northern Mexico, make a decent substitute. David Fickling | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "More Thanksgiving Pecans Will Be Made in China," 27 Nov. 2019 Smokey Bones: To-go orders: smoked meats, sliced smoked turkey; includes turkey breast rubbed with house spices and hickory smoked for 3 hours. Polly Campbell, Cincinnati.com, "Where to eat on Thanksgiving if you don't feel like cooking. Or washing dishes," 13 Nov. 2019 As a member of the Allman Brothers Band, starting in the late ’80s, the guitarist had some high-profile duties shredding, bringing a bit of hickory smoke to the band’s long-form sizzle. John Adamian, courant.com, "Best bets: Our 7 picks for this week’s concerts in Connecticut," 8 Sep. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for hickory

Time Traveler

The first known use of hickory was in 1670

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Statistics for hickory

Last Updated

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hickory.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hickory. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for hickory


How to pronounce Hickory (audio)

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).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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