Definition of an old chestnut in English:

an old chestnut

phrase

  • A joke, story, or subject that has become tedious and uninteresting through constant repetition:

    ‘the subject under discussion is that old chestnut, public or private financing of the arts’
    • ‘‘Do you expect me to fall for that old chestnut,’ she fumed.’
    • ‘Cost is another of the old chestnuts that's brought up every so often.’
    • ‘This is an old chestnut of a story, and like the previous similar surveys it has a huge flaw which undermines the result: you don't know if the respondents are telling the truth.’
    • ‘In the past she has denied the old chestnut about women not being as funny as men but today she clearly can't be bothered fighting.’
    • ‘Things become old chestnuts because there is a certain sense to them.’
    • ‘It covers the old chestnut of paper versus computers and comes to an interesting conclusion, which I'm afraid I've kind of given away in the quote above.’
    • ‘Another barrier comes tumbling down, as that old chestnut about the Germans never making a funny comedy has to be consigned to the history book.’
    • ‘Does that old chestnut really need explaining again?’
    • ‘The old chestnut of ‘environmental damage’ is, of course, a favourite concern of green campaigners, and one which the UK government is keen to take on board.’
    • ‘We've discovered the answer to that old chestnut.’
    funny story, jest, witticism, quip, pleasantry
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