nut·​shell | \ˈnət-ˌshel \

Definition of nutshell 

1 : the hard external covering in which the kernel of a nut is enclosed

2 : something of small size, amount, or scope

in a nutshell

: in a very brief statement

Examples of nutshell in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In a nutshell, these photos have confirmed that none of us are emotionally prepared for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to have a baby. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Pregnant Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Are Already Feeling the Baby Fever on Their Tour of Australia," 16 Oct. 2018 In a nutshell, the gate and fence and fee program are unpermitted. Peter Fimrite,, "Fight brewing over Privates Beach in Santa Cruz County, which charges $100 yearly fee," 12 July 2018 That's Halsey in a nutshell, the poster child for the new pop-star playbook. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "With spectacles at Summerfest, Halsey and Logic aspire for a better world," 30 June 2018 That story is, in a nutshell, the problem for America. Susan Crawford, WIRED, "Autonomous Vehicles Might Drive Cities to Financial Ruin," 20 June 2018 In a nutshell, even as the former deliver worse and worse news, especially about a temperature rise of 3 degrees Celsius or more, the latter remain placid. David Roberts, Vox, "We are almost certainly underestimating the economic risks of climate change," 8 June 2018 The case alleges, in a nutshell, that Russian hackers, combined with Trump associates' interactions with Russian officials, amounts to a massive conspiracy to alter the results of the 2016 campaign. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "DNC files lawsuit against Russia, Trump campaign, WikiLeaks," 20 Apr. 2018 In a nutshell, and in clockwise fashion, here are our favorites: St. Jean is lined with small hotels, including the soon-to-reopen Eden Rock, and backed by charming shops and cafes. David Jefferys, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Perfect (Long) Weekend in St. Barts," 16 Apr. 2018 That was Paul George’s 2017 postseason in a nutshell, as his venting throughout a first-round sweep loss to Cleveland foreshadowed his off-season departure from Indiana. Ben Golliver,, "The All-Bullseye Team: Five All-Stars Facing Serious Playoff Pressure," 4 Apr. 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for nutshell

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nutshell

The first known use of nutshell was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for nutshell



English Language Learners Definition of nutshell

: the hard outer shell of a nut


nut·​shell | \ˈnət-ˌshel \

Kids Definition of nutshell

: the shell of a nut

in a nutshell

: very briefly And that, in a nutshell, is my explanation.

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Comments on nutshell

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


a private place of worship

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