horn·​beam | \ ˈhȯrn-ˌbēm How to pronounce hornbeam (audio) \

Definition of hornbeam

: any of a genus (Carpinus) of trees of the birch family having smooth gray bark and hard white wood

Examples of hornbeam in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Donated by the National Wild Turkey Federation, the tree species includes silky dogwood, American hop, hornbeam and gray dogwood. cleveland, 14 Apr. 2022 Its yew trees, themselves a replacement for the original hornbeam, are threadbare in places where eager visitors have brushed up against them. Nicola Twilley, The New Yorker, 22 Nov. 2021 Some species don a medley all at once, or are more potluck with their hues, like sweet gum and American hornbeam. Miri Talabac, baltimoresun.com, 30 Sep. 2021 Royal florist Philippa Craddock incorporated local, in-season blooms with lots of greenery including branches of beech, birch and hornbeam as well as white garden roses, foxgloves, and peonies to create the lush, romantic arrangements. Olivia Hosken, Town & Country, 4 Sep. 2021 But there was rapid, smooth healing in such trees as hornbeam and Southern magnolia. Washington Post, 7 July 2021 Alden Hopkins replaced boxwood in the Ellipse with the iconic hornbeam hedge. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, 7 Apr. 2021 Tree species brought to the site by the Chicago Region Trees Initiative included American hornbeam, American plum, hackberry, shagbark hickory, chinkapin oak, shingle oak, wahoo and umbrella tree magnolia, according to officials. Kaitlin Edquist, chicagotribune.com, 29 Sep. 2020 Redbud and sweetgum, chokecherry and crabapple, hornbeam and plum. Marc Mcandrews, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Sep. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hornbeam.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of hornbeam

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hornbeam

Middle English hernbem, from hern- (of uncertain meaning and origin) + bem "tree" — more at beam entry 1

Note: The tree name hornbeam is generally taken to be a compound of horn and the etymon represented by Modern English beam entry 1, which in Old English and early Middle English could mean "tree." However, the scant Middle English attestation—a single occurrence of the word in Chancery inquisitions as hernbem, and forms of the Hertfordshire place name Hornbeam Lane (Herinbemegatestret, Hernebemgate)—suggest that horn may have been a folk etymology from an earlier word.

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Time Traveler for hornbeam

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The first known use of hornbeam was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near hornbeam

horn angle



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Last Updated

24 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hornbeam.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hornbeam. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hornbeam

Nglish: Translation of hornbeam for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hornbeam


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