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

Examples of water chestnut in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Get The Recipe 02 of 42 Hot Chicken Salad This old-school dish combines creamy chicken salad with pimientos, mushrooms, and water chestnuts. Mary Shannon Wells, Southern Living, 16 Apr. 2024 The city’s first Michelin Green Star restaurant, Seroja, sources many ingredients from the island and neighboring Malaysia and uses vegetable trimmings to create nonalcoholic drinks, such as a refreshing cocktail of watercress, sansho pepper, and water chestnut. Travel + Leisure Editors, Travel + Leisure, 8 Apr. 2024 Cooking easily ruptures cells in, say, spinach and zucchini, but cassava (Manihot esculenta) or Chinese water chestnut (Eleocharis dulcis) is much more resistant. Rob Dunn, Scientific American, 1 Sep. 2013 To see them is to preview the flavor of some dumplings; ground duck, cilantro and water chestnuts are visible inside their sheer orbs. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 20 Oct. 2023 The tender morsels glide to the table on a garden of bright bell peppers, water chestnuts and other vegetables in a lovely wash of chicken broth and wine. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 20 Oct. 2023 Add the cabbage, carrots, green onions, water chestnuts and peanuts and toss to combine. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 10 Sep. 2023 Remove from heat, then fold in water chestnuts, scallions (white and light green parts), and mushrooms, scraping up browned bits. Joy Cho, Good Housekeeping, 16 June 2023 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

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 25 May. 2024.

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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