: 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
: the wood of the pecan tree
The hardwood floor was made of pecan.
: 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 Perhaps the pecan pie was absolutely ravaged while the apple was left untouched. Li Goldstein, Bon Appétit, 18 Nov. 2023 Choose from raw pecans (perfect for baking pecan pie!), roasted and salted pecans, and even gingerbread pecans. Melanie Fincher, Southern Living, 17 Nov. 2023 New food items include a harvest salad with pomegranate seeds, candied pecans, blue cheese and apples; smoked salmon dip with chipotle cream cheese; bacon and Brussels sprouts flatbread; and fried chicken sandwich with pineapple fennel slaw and Swiss cheese. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Nov. 2023 And the pecan pie, baked in a slab, uses a filling of pecan cream — no corn syrup — that is lightly sweet, slightly savory and deeply nutty. Claire Saffitz, New York Times, 9 Nov. 2023 Rosemary-Brown Butter Pecans: Browned butter only enhances the nuttiness of the pecans in this snack-mix and works well with the earthy flavor of fresh rosemary. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 8 Nov. 2023 And singer-songwriter Jim Croce and his entourage were killed when their plane struck a pecan tree near the end of the runway at the local airport. T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, 7 Nov. 2023 Throw some in a bowl and call it a day! Nuts About Rosemary Mix: Another simple appetizer offering, each canister offers a mix of crunchy roasted almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and pecans — all blended with a rosemary and sea salt seasoning and sprinkled with a dash of sugar. Dave Quinn, Peoplemag, 6 Nov. 2023 The simple solution would be topping the casserole with both marshmallows and pecans, which lots of people do. Zoe Denenberg, Bon Appétit, 4 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


American French pacane, from Illinois pakani

First Known Use

1761, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pecan was in 1761

Dictionary Entries Near pecan

Cite this Entry

“Pecan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pecan. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


pe·​can pi-ˈkän How to pronounce pecan (audio) -ˈkan How to pronounce pecan (audio)
: an oblong edible nut that usually has a thin shell and is the fruit of a tall tree of the central and southern U.S.
also : this tree which is one of the hickories

More from Merriam-Webster on pecan

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