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chestnut

[ches-nuht, -nuh t] /ˈtʃɛsˌnʌt, -nət/
noun
1.
any of the several deciduous trees constituting the genus Castanea, of the beech family, having toothed, oblong leaves and bearing edible nuts enclosed in a prickly bur, and including C. dentata (American chestnut) which has been virtually destroyed by the chestnut blight, C. sativa (European chestnut) C. mollissima (Chinese chestnut) and C. crenata (Japanese chestnut)
2.
the edible nut of such a tree.
3.
the wood of any of these trees.
4.
any fruit or tree resembling the chestnut, as the horse chestnut.
5.
reddish brown.
6.
an old or stale joke, anecdote, etc.
7.
the callosity on the inner side of the leg of a horse.
8.
a reddish-brown horse having the mane and tail of the same color.
Compare bay5 (def 2).
9.
Also called liver chestnut. a horse of a solid, dark-brown color.
adjective
11.
(of food) containing or made with chestnuts:
turkey with chestnut stuffing.
Idioms
12.
pull someone's chestnuts out of the fire, to rescue someone from a difficulty.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; 1880-85 for def 6; earlier chesten nut, Middle English chesten, Old English cysten chestnut tree (< Latin castanea < Greek kastanéa) + nut
Related forms
chestnutty, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for chestnut
  • Police paperwork is an old chestnut which really needs a proper roasting.
  • In my region this includes western bluebirds, tree swallows, chestnut-backed chickadees and white-breasted nuthatches.
  • IT was the next week after the events narrated, and the chestnut trees were already in bloom.
  • At that time a splendid old chestnut tree was growing in one corner.
  • His coat was threadbare and with more holes in it than a chestnut roaster.
  • It's converted naturally in oak and chestnut barrels over the course of about a year, and then aged another four years.
  • Gives examples of other invasive species threatening chestnut, ash, and sugar maple trees.
  • By all means, let us ease the old chestnut into well-deserved retirement.
  • Tobacco was also growing, and a big military-chestnut tree stood farther away.
  • The overused chestnut that correlation imply causation is important to keep in mind here.
British Dictionary definitions for chestnut

chestnut

/ˈtʃɛsˌnʌt/
noun
1.
any N temperate fagaceous tree of the genus Castanea, such as C. sativa (sweet or Spanish chestnut), which produce flowers in long catkins and nuts in a prickly bur Compare horse chestnut, water chestnut, dwarf chestnut
2.
the edible nut of any of these trees
3.
the hard wood of any of these trees, used in making furniture, etc
4.
  1. a reddish-brown to brown colour
  2. (as adjective) chestnut hair
5.
a horse of a yellow-brown or golden-brown colour
6.
a small horny callus on the inner surface of a horse's leg
7.
(informal) an old or stale joke
Word Origin
C16: from earlier chesten nut: chesten, from Old French chastaigne, from Latin castanea, from Greek kastanea
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chestnut
chestnut
1570, from chesten nut (1519), from M.E. chasteine, from O.Fr. chastaigne, from L. castanea, from Gk. kastaneia, which the Greeks thought meant either "nut from Castanea" in Pontus, or "nut from Castana" in Thessaly, but probably both places are named for the trees, not the other way around, and the word is probably borrowed from a language of Asia Minor. Of the dark reddish-brown color, 1656. Applied to the horse-chestnut 1832. Slang sense of "venerable joke or story" is from 1886, probably from a joke (first recorded 1888) based on an oft-repeated story in which a chestnut tree figures. The key part of the 1888 citation is:
"When suddenly from the thick boughs of a cork-tree --"
"A chestnut, Captain; a chestnut."
"Bah! booby, I say a cork-tree!"
"A chestnut," reiterates Pablo. "I should know as well as you, having heard you tell the tale these twenty-seven times."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for chestnut

chestnut

noun

A trite old story, joke, song, etc

[1816+; probably fr a play, The Broken Sword, in which one character tells a story 27 times, naming a chestnut tree, then abruptly changes it to a cork tree, whereupon another character recalls the repetition of chestnut, and the first says, ''Well, a chestnut be it then'']


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with chestnut
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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