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, 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 But that is, in a nutshell, the free trade argument that has been resented for decades by workers in manufacturing who care more about their struggling industries than the overall health of the global economy. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "Tiff over tariffs: Gary Cohn gets a hero's sendoff from the media," 8 Mar. 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

12 Aug 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).


the setting in which something occurs

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