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 This hardwood lump variety ($7.98 for 8 pounds) is made with a mixture of oak, maple, hickory and other select woods with pieces that can range in size from a golf ball to a Coke bottle. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "Chuck Blount tests 6 charcoal brands to see which is the best: H-E-B, Kingsford, Jack Daniel's, B&B, Royal Oak and Viva Pancho," 15 Feb. 2021 The custom, traditional-style house, built in 2007, has Italian stone and hand-hewn hickory floors, six bedrooms, four bathrooms, three powder rooms and 7,738 square feet of living space. oregonlive, "On the market: Portland area homes for sale with year-round outdoor entertainment areas," 24 Jan. 2021 Western red cedar is the wood most often used, but maple, hickory, and alder are also common. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "How to Cook Meals with Grilling Planks," 23 Oct. 2019 The Georgetown ornithologist and her team had been hunting cuckoos, in an oak-and-hickory forest on the edge of a Southern Illinois cornfield, for weeks. New York Times, "Skip to site index," 12 Jan. 2021 The Tennessee hickory wood handle is slightly burnt, just for overall aesthetics, and at 19-inches long, is suitable for one- or two-hand control. Ben Romans, Outdoor Life, "The 2020 Camping Gear Gift Guide," 26 Nov. 2020 Acorns, hickory nuts, black walnuts, butternuts, and maple seeds supply much of the gray squirrels diet from late summer to the following spring. Jim Gilbert Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Eating and storing food are a squirrel's life in late autumn," 3 Dec. 2020 Ortega might work with scotch or mescal and add flavor with smoke from sage, applewood, hickory or oak. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Downtown Huntsville ‘speakeasy’ oozes subterranean style," 19 Nov. 2020 Food preferences are the same for both species — hickory nuts, white oak acorns, red oak acorns, walnuts, pecans, some soft mast. Johnny Carrol Sain, Outdoor Life, "The Ultimate Guide to Hunting Squirrels," 6 Oct. 2020

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

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hickory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hickory. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for hickory



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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hickory

Nglish: Translation of hickory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hickory

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