pe·​can | \ pi-ˈkän How to pronounce pecan (audio) , -ˈkan How to pronounce pecan (audio) ; ˈpē-ˌkan How to pronounce pecan (audio) \

Definition of pecan

1 : a large hickory (Carya illinoinensis synonym C. illinoensis) that has roughish bark and hard but brittle wood and is widely grown in the warmer parts of the U.S. and in Mexico for its edible nut
2 : the wood of the pecan tree The hardwood floor was made of pecan.
3 : the smooth oblong thin-shelled nut of the pecan tree bought some pecans to make a pie

Examples of pecan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are macadamias, hazelnuts and almonds, pistachios, pecans and walnuts. Washington Post, "The perfect holiday gift: delicious, pantry-friendly nougat," 3 Dec. 2019 Try grapes, berries, and nuts like pecans and walnuts. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Here's How To Get Beautiful Glowing Skin Overnight," 1 Oct. 2019 Every mouthful brings joy, the tenderest shortbread, perfect crumb and a little kick of heat from the spicy pecans. Kim Pierce, Dallas News, "Our 9 favorite local farm-to-table finds, from butter cakes to tamales," 19 Aug. 2019 In a small, dry skillet, cook the pecans over low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 8 minutes. Chris Ross, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Blueberry crumble is tasty gluten-free dessert," 13 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, make filling: In small bowl, combine pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "King Cake," 15 Nov. 2019 The recipe only takes about 20 minutes to assemble (and around an hour-and-twenty minutes for baking, plus a 30-minute cooling period), and comes together with pantry staples like pecans, vanilla, brown sugar, and more. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Journal Dutch Oven Cinnamon Coffee Cake Is Perfect for a Fall Gathering," 15 Nov. 2019 Mayes' signature dessert, though, is her single-layer red velvet sheet cake with cream cheese icing and chopped pecans. Bob Carlton |, al, "This classic Alabama BBQ joint is sweet on the ‘Cake Lady’," 1 Nov. 2019 Workers tend to huge vats of roasting pecans, cookie conveyor belts and ice cream cone ovens that turn out up to 50,000 cones a day. Los Angeles Times, "Braum’s is the best burger joint. You’ll wish you were here," 23 Oct. 2019

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

1761, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pecan

American French pacane, from Illinois pakani

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Time Traveler for pecan

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The first known use of pecan was in 1761

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Last Updated

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Pecan.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for pecan


How to pronounce pecan (audio) How to pronounce pecan (audio) How to pronounce pecan (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pecan

: a nut that grows on a tall tree in the United States and Mexico and that can be eaten


pe·​can | \ pi-ˈkän How to pronounce pecan (audio) , -ˈkan; ˈpē-ˌkan \

Kids Definition of pecan

: an oval edible nut related to the walnut that usually has a thin shell and is the fruit of a tall tree of the central and southern United States

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More from Merriam-Webster on pecan

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pecan

Spanish Central: Translation of pecan

Nglish: Translation of pecan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pecan for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about pecan

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delight or enjoyment

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