water chestnut


: any of a genus (Trapa, especially T. natans of the family Trapaceae, the water-chestnut family) of Old World aquatic herbs sometimes grown as ornamentals
also : its edible nutlike spiny fruit
: a whitish crunchy vegetable used especially in Chinese cooking that is the peeled and often sliced tuber of a sedge (Eleocharis dulcis synonym E. tuberosa) native to Asia but widely cultivated elsewhere
also : the tuber or the sedge itself

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The most obvious order here is the Signature Bamboo Fungus Whole Chicken Soup, which gets your pot filled with chicken broth, plus chunks of fresh ginger, strips of coconut meat, fresh longan (a lychee-adjacent fruit), water chestnuts, and phallic, hollow cylinders of bamboo fungus. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, 24 Feb. 2023 Started by the immigrant owners of the highway's gas stations and strip malls to feed their workforce, these small but phenomenal dining establishments are popular today with folks from across the city, who will brave the Atlanta traffic for the vermicelli salads and water chestnut dumplings. Von Diaz, Condé Nast Traveler, 5 July 2022 At the flagship MingHin in Chinatown or other locations get the classics, like tender snow skin shrimp dumplings or hearty golden pork and shrimp siu mai, plus newer pan-fried tofu skin vegetable rolls and subtly sweet water chestnut cakes. Ariel Cheung, chicagotribune.com, 4 Aug. 2021 Butter lettuce filled with ground bison, sweet onion, water chestnut, ginger, carrot, soy and hoisin sauce. Cheryl V. Jackson, The Indianapolis Star, 6 July 2022 Recently, Friends of the Blackstone held an invasive water chestnut pull. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 30 June 2022 Once dessert was on the table—tapioca with fresh coconut, water chestnut and mint leaf—Lindbergh did go home. Sarah Medford, WSJ, 8 Dec. 2021 Dangerous-looking fruit is from a water chestnut, a plant that has been part of our diet since Neolithic times. Leslie Nemo, Scientific American, 29 June 2021 The moonflower found wrapped around a water chestnut tree at the CUBG was obtained in 2015 from the Bonn Botanic Garden in Germany, but bloomed for the first time this year, reports the BBC. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Mar. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'water chestnut.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of water chestnut was in 1597

Dictionary Entries Near water chestnut

Cite this Entry

“Water chestnut.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/water%20chestnut. Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

water chestnut

: a whitish crunchy vegetable used especially in Chinese cooking that is the peeled underground stem of an Asian sedge
also : the sedge or its underground stem

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