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

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 The region’s birch and oak-hickory forests are an ideal habitat for black bears, and allow females to gain enough weight to produce large litters. Kate King, WSJ, "New Jersey Moves to Curb Bear Hunting," 20 Aug. 2018 The menu starts off with steamed lobster tails with New England clam chowder sauce followed by hickory grilled bison with red potato horseradish cake and wild huckleberry reduction. House Beautiful, "The Inaugural Ceremony: What to Expect from the Luncheon," 17 Jan. 2013 Wildwood Grill Master Collection Planks and Smoking Chips ($25) Different woods—like the hickory, cherry, maple, cedar, and alder in this set—bring out different flavors. Bryan Rogala, Outside Online, "10 Products That Will Turn You Into a Grill Master," 13 July 2018 The hardwood stands include red and white oak, hickory and walnut. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Fulfillment on Gobbler's Ridge comes from more than just harvesting turkeys," 12 May 2018 Fill your chimney not with charcoal, but hardwood chunks (oak, hickory, apple, cherry and such, the sort sold at hardware stores for smoking). Steven Raichlen, New York Times, "Grilling Turns Back to an Ancient Fuel: Wood," 29 June 2018 The factory is fragrant with the smell of hickory, apple, pecan and mesquite wood, and the aroma of the spice blends. Jennifer Hiller, San Antonio Express-News, "Kiolbassa keeps a family sausage-making tradition alive," 28 May 2018

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

16 Jun 2019

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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

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