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nutcracker

[nuht-krak-er] /ˈnʌtˌkræk ər/
noun
1.
an instrument or device for cracking the shells of nuts.
2.
any of several corvine birds of the genus Nucifraga that feed on nuts, as the common nutcracker, N. caryocatactes, of Europe and Clark's nutcracker, N. columbiana, of the western U.S.
Origin
1540-1550
1540-50; nut + cracker
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for nutcracker
  • Using a nutcracker or wood mallet, crack the shell of each leg and claw section.
  • If you want to shell a walnut, it helps to have a nutcracker.
British Dictionary definitions for nutcracker

nutcracker

/ˈnʌtˌkrækə/
noun
1.
(often pl) a device for cracking the shells of nuts
2.
either of two birds, Nucifraga caryocatactes of the Old World or N. columbianus (Clark's nutcracker) of North America, having speckled plumage and feeding on nuts, seeds, etc: family Corvidae (crows)
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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Encyclopedia Article for nutcracker

either of two sharp-billed, short-tailed birds belonging to the family Corvidae (q.v.; order Passeriformes), found in coniferous forests. The Eurasian nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes) ranges from Scandinavia to Japan and has isolated populations in mountains farther south. It is 32 centimetres (12 12 inches) long and brownish, with white streaking and white tail tip. Clark's nutcracker (N. columbiana) of western North America is pale gray, with black wings and tail, showing white patches in flight. Both species live chiefly on seeds and nuts, which they often store underground for winter use.

Learn more about nutcracker with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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18
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