Definition of whitethorn

1a : a hawthorn (Crataegus oxycantha)
2 : any of several acacias that have peeling bark which gives the trunk a whitish appearance
3 : a whitish-barked shrub (Ceanothus incana) of the coastal mountains of the western U.S. that has often spinose branchlets, leaves whitish beneath, and small white flowers in panicles

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History and Etymology for whitethorn

Middle English white thorn, from white + thorn

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Cite this Entry

“Whitethorn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whitethorn. Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

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