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Formerly chesten nut, from Middle English chesten, Middle English chesteyne, chasteine, from Old English ċisten and reinforced by Old French chastaigne, both from Latin castānea, from Ancient Greek καστάνεια (kastáneia). Compare castanet.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈt͡ʃɛs.nʌt/, /ˈt͡ʃɛst.nʌt/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛsnʌt, -ɛstnʌt


chestnut (countable and uncountable, plural chestnuts)

  1. A tree or shrub of the genus Castanea.
    Synonym: chestnut tree
  2. A nut of this tree or shrub.
  3. (uncountable) A dark, reddish-brown colour, as seen on the fruit of the chestnut tree.
  4. A reddish-brown horse.
    • 1871, Baily's Magazine of Sports & Pastimes, volume 20, page 308:
      Lord Carington [] led the way with his chestnuts []
    • 1877, George Nevile, Horses and Riding, page 105:
      [] browns are the soberest, bays are the worst tempered, and chestnuts are the most foolish.
  5. (uncountable) Wood of a chestnut tree.
  6. (figurative) An old joke; a worn-out meme, phrase, ploy, etc. so often repeated as to have grown tiresome or ineffective (often in the phrase "old chestnut").
    Synonyms: cliché, platitude
    • 1997 May 10, Larry Flick, “Singles”, in Billboard, →ISSN, page 62:
      Yep, this is a dance-leaning cover of the Matthew Wilder '80s pop chestnut. It has already saturated radio airwaves throughout Europe, with a number of programmers here already giving it positive feedback.
    • 2015 August 27, Michael Signer, “What Happens When Donald Trump Stirs Up 'Passionate' Supporters”, in The Atlantic[1]:
      Take greed. He’s been cited many times for what now has become a chestnut: “The point is, you can’t be too greedy.”
  7. A round or oval horny plate found on the inner side of the leg of a horse or other animal, similar to a birthmark on a human.
    Synonym: night eye
  8. (UK) The horse-chestnut.

Derived terms[edit]


  • Gujarati: ચેસ્ટનટ (cesṭanaṭ)



chestnut (not comparable)

  1. Of a deep reddish-brown colour, like that of a chestnut.
    chestnut hair


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