Definition of chestnut in US English:

chestnut

noun

  • 1A glossy brown nut that may be roasted and eaten.

    • ‘If chestnuts roasting by an open fire isn't your scene, then an enterprising Yorkshire hotel has the perfect solution.’
    • ‘After the goat, we eat chestnuts roasted on a boxy iron stove.’
    • ‘Stalls selling hot roast chestnuts, doughnuts and other treats will be set up in the town centre from 11 am, and carol singers will add some extra cheer.’
    • ‘We have toffee apples, gingerbread men, roast chestnuts and all manner of pumpkin dishes created by Chef.’
    • ‘To know if your chestnuts are ready to roast, give them the squeeze test: If there's a slight give between the outer shell and inside nut, it's ready.’
    • ‘Dark nights, cold days, scarves and gloves, hot roasted chestnuts (at least, their aroma) and a fresh fall of snow, were all essential ingredients of a perfect Christmas.’
    • ‘Some authors have suggested that their flavour and texture are comparable with those of the chestnut or cashew nut.’
    • ‘We boiled the Christmas pudding in the old copper and we split and roasted chestnuts on the fire.’
    • ‘There will be hot roasted chestnuts and other nosh from Christmas past, as well as traditional ornament-making.’
    • ‘Why don't they sell roasted chestnuts anymore, I wonder?’
    • ‘A roast chestnut crusted salmon circle was perfectly cooked, tasty and fresh.’
    • ‘There will be amusements for children, plus hot food and roasted chestnuts.’
    • ‘Nowadays, most chestnuts are roasted by machines for convenience, so roasting chestnuts manually has become a dying folk craft.’
    • ‘Someone could have been selling hot potatoes, roast chestnuts and hot drinks.’
    • ‘The couple's winter wedding will feature carol singers and roasted chestnuts, while the bride wants to arrive in a traditional horse and carriage.’
    • ‘Almost equally invigorating is a poached chicken, sliced into strips atop a mound of basmati rice but bathed in a potion of tarragon and chestnuts.’
    • ‘Does she dream nostalgically of the crowds and crush of Christmas shopping in Coney Street, or roasting her chestnuts on a three-bar electric fire?’
    • ‘Roast the chestnuts in a moderate oven for about 15 minutes, until the shells burst, then cool and peel.’
    • ‘And I can't really tell you how it was made, as I spent the entire recipe-making time chopping walnuts and chestnuts, sneaking teeny bits in every now and then.’
    • ‘The town centre market would consist of around ten stands or huts selling roast chestnuts, for example, Cumbrian punch, traditional sausages and pancakes.’
    1. 1.1 A deep reddish-brown color.
      as modifier ‘chestnut hair’
      • ‘She flung her deep chestnut hair away from her eyes.’
      • ‘Her long, wavy, thick, chestnut hair cascaded fluidly down her back.’
      • ‘Her cheeks were pale and veined with dark tear-tracks, her eyes, usually a beautiful deep chestnut, were red and swollen.’
      • ‘Their leader had chestnut colored hair with electric blue eyes that seemed both welcoming and forbidding.’
      • ‘The deep chestnut flanks and sides combined with the male's solid black head, red eye, and black upperparts are distinctive.’
      • ‘Her long, curly chestnut hair fell across her face as she thought.’
      • ‘When they removed their hats, they revealed identical chestnut hair, neatly parted in the center.’
      • ‘Will had turned around quickly, thinking for sure that he had caught a glimpse of deep chestnut out of the corner of his eye.’
      • ‘‘Cute, but no,’ he said congenially, his deep chestnut eyes twinkling from under the curve of his cast iron helmet.’
      • ‘Sitting to her left was a young girl about the age of nine, with chestnut brown hair, tan skin, and liquid brown eyes.’
      • ‘Some species have white on the throat or rump areas and a few species have brighter chestnut or reddish throats.’
      • ‘Aside from that, he had soft and shiny chestnut hair, and warm, loving, yet mysterious deep brown eyes.’
      • ‘He was about as tall as the other man, with shaggy blonde hair and deep chestnut brown eyes.’
      • ‘She ran a hand through her chestnut coloured hair.’
      • ‘The beetle was a bulbous, chestnut coloured fellow.’
      • ‘She had a sweet smile, and her light olive skin went with deep, chestnut hair.’
      • ‘The one with chestnut hair wore khaki slacks and a black trench coat, while the other, an Asian man, was dressed in all black.’
      • ‘With her long silky chestnut hair and a familiar twinkle in her eyes, Vivian had developed into quite an attractive young lady.’
      • ‘They had the same straight chestnut hair and deep green eyes.’
      • ‘One had beautiful red hair and looked quite boisterous and the other had chestnut coloured hair and she looked serious and sophisticated.’
      reddish, flaming red, flame-coloured, auburn, titian, chestnut, carroty, ginger, sandy, foxy
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A horse of a reddish-brown color, with a brown mane and tail.
      • ‘The chestnut filly was bred in Kentucky.’
      • ‘The chestnut colt finished second in his racing debut on June 24.’
      • ‘The chestnut mare has won 17 of 24 career starts and has earned $4,079,820.’
      • ‘The chestnut colt is the second foal out of Grade 2 winner Prospectress, by Mining.’
      • ‘She watched James swing down from the saddle of his chestnut horse, whose coat was literally on fire with the colors of sunset.’
      • ‘The chestnut colt made his debut nine months later, finishing second by a length to eventual Grade 1 winner D' Wildcat.’
      • ‘The sassy combination of so-called stripper music and Cabaret show tunes suits the big chestnut mare, who seemed to visibly strut and swagger through her routine.’
      • ‘The chestnut colt earned $1,009,920 for his biggest lifetime victory and instantly became a millionaire.’
      • ‘The chestnut horse won eight of 16 career starts and earned $1,261,089.’
      • ‘The chestnut mare has won 14 of 16 career starts and earned $3,044,820.’
      • ‘She quietly saddled a chestnut mare a few stalls down from him and walked him out of the barn.’
      • ‘The chestnut filly worked in company on Wednesday, pleasing him with her effort.’
      • ‘The chestnut filly's win also gave the young female jockey her first Group 1 stakes triumph.’
      • ‘The chestnut colt also won the 2001 Tattersall Stakes as a three-year-old.’
      • ‘Sharon rides Andy, a chestnut Quarter Horse who has never before experienced dressage.’
      • ‘The chestnut colt is the last foal out of Jewell Ridge, who died on August 1.’
      • ‘Berndon was looking at a chestnut mare with a black mane and tail and took out some coins to pay for it.’
      • ‘The chestnut colt moved up three wide to take the lead into the first turn and was clear by two lengths as he covered the first quarter in: 23.28.’
      • ‘The chestnut horse was bred in Kentucky by Vintage Meadow Stable.’
      • ‘She spun around and saw Jake galloping on a beautiful chestnut stallion towards them.’
      hazel, chocolate-coloured, coffee-coloured, cocoa-coloured, nut-brown
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  • 2The large European tree that produces the edible chestnut, which develops within a bristly case, with serrated leaves and heavy timber.

    Castanea sativa, family Fagaceae

    • ‘One damaged chestnut tree and five mature conifers had to be removed.’
    • ‘With the coming of the spring-time I yearned only to sit under my favorite chestnut tree for a spell.’
    • ‘Greece originally introduced the chestnut tree to the rest of the European community.’
    • ‘I just noticed the chestnut tree in our front yard was dying and wondered why.’
    • ‘As she got nearer she saw him shaded from the sun by the leaves of the chestnut tree.’
    1. 2.1 A related tree (C. dentata), which succumbed to a fungus bark disease in the early 1900s. Once prolific in the eastern US, very few large specimens survived.
      • ‘He cites the classic case of the American chestnut, once a dominant tree in many eastern hardwood forests.’
      • ‘The American chestnut tree is poised to make a comeback, thanks to genetic engineering.’
      • ‘Several seedlings of American chestnut also are present.’
      • ‘Over the years we have added scientific investigations on wildlife road kill, tree growth and a study of American chestnut seedling survival.’
      • ‘The American chestnut was once the most common canopy tree in the deciduous forests of the eastern United States.’
    2. 2.2 A related tree (C. mollissima) native to China and Korea, cultivated elsewhere for its edible nut. The flowers have a putrid odor.
      • ‘The Chinese chestnut, C. mollissima, has been cultivated in China for at least as long as its European counterpart, and used in much the same way: dried, roasted, or made into meal.’
    3. 2.3
      short for horse chestnut
    4. 2.4 Used in names of trees and plants that are related to the sweet chestnut or that produce similar nuts, e.g., water chestnut.
      • ‘They also collected a broad variety of wild herbs, wild vegetables such as acorns, water chestnuts, and broad beans, and possibly wild rice.’
      • ‘The European species of chestnut catches the disease, too, and early researchers noticed some Italian trees that seemed to have spontaneously recovered their health.’
      • ‘In general, European chestnut trees haven't suffered as devastating an outbreak as their American cousins.’
  • 3A small horny patch on the inside of each of a horse's legs.

    • ‘The small chestnut patches on its shoulders are not always visible.’

Phrases

  • an old chestnut

    • A joke or story that has become tedious because of its age and constant repetition.

      • ‘We've discovered the answer to that old chestnut.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Does that old chestnut really need explaining again?’
      • ‘Things become old chestnuts because there is a certain sense to them.’
      • ‘‘Do you expect me to fall for that old chestnut,’ she fumed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Cost is another of the old chestnuts that's brought up every so often.’
      funny story, jest, witticism, quip, pleasantry
      View synonyms
  • pull someone's chestnuts out of the fire

    • Succeed in a hazardous undertaking for someone else's benefit.

      • ‘Whatever it takes to pull his chestnuts out of the fire in Virginia.’
      • ‘As you know, part of the tens of billions of dollars that he is asking for today is to pull his chestnuts out of the fire.’
      • ‘So I think it's just idle to think that they can pull our chestnuts out of the fire.’
      • ‘When it comes to pulling his chestnuts out of the fire, however, the UAW leadership is at the ready.’
      • ‘I think it'll take more than him to pull their chestnuts out of the fire.’
      • ‘For example, we have pulled your chestnuts out of the fire in two world wars that were occasioned by European diplomacy.’

Origin

Early 16th century: from Old English chesten (from Old French chastaine, via Latin from Greek kastanea) + nut.

Pronunciation

chestnut

/ˈtʃɛs(t)ˌnət//ˈCHes(t)ˌnət/