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chestnut

chestnut, name for any species of the genus Castanea, deciduous trees of the family Fagaceae (beech or oak family) widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere. They are characterized by thin-shelled, sweet, edible nuts borne in a bristly bur. The common American chestnut, C. dentata, is native E of the Mississippi but is now nearly extinct because of the chestnut blight, a disease from Asia caused by the fungus Crypthonectria parasitica, and the clear-cutting that resulted when lumber companies anticipated the destruction of chestnut forests by the fungus. The American chestnut was an important source of timber. Efforts have been made to breed a type of American chestnut resistant to the disease, by crossing it with the blight-resistant Chinese and Japanese chestnuts, in order to replace the old chestnut forests, and significant plantings of the largely American hybrids have been made. The dead and fallen logs were long the the leading domestic source of tannin. Chestnut wood is porous, but it is very durable in soil and has been popular for fence posts, railway ties, and beams. Edible chestnuts are now mostly imported from Italy, where the Eurasian species (C. sativa) has not been destroyed. The chinquapin belongs to the same genus. Chestnuts are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Fagales, family Fagaceae.

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chestnut

chest·nut / ˈches(t)ˌnət/ • n. 1. (also sweet chestnut) a glossy brown nut that may be roasted and eaten. 2. (also chestnut tree, sweet chestnut, or Spanish chestnut) the large European tree (Castanea sativa) of the beech family that produces the edible chestnut, which develops within a bristly case, with serrated leaves and heavy timber. ∎  (also American chestnut) a related tree (C. dentata), which succumbed to a fungal bark disease in the early 1900s. Once prolific in the eastern US, very few large specimens survived. ∎  (also Chinese chestnut) a related tree (C. mollissima) native to China and Korea, cultivated elsewhere for its edible nut. ∎  short for horse chestnut. ∎  used in names of trees and plants that are related to the sweet chestnut or that produce similar nuts, e.g., water chestnut. 3. a deep reddish-brown color. ∎  a horse of a reddish-brown color, with a brown mane and tail. 4. a small horny patch on the inside of each of a horse's legs. 5. colloq. a stale joke or anecdote.

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chestnut

chestnut
1. Spanish or sweet chestnut from trees of Castanea spp. Unlike other common nuts it contains very little fat, being largely starch and water. Seven nuts (75 g) provide 5.3 g of dietary fibre and are a good source of copper; a source of vitamins B1 and B6; contain 2 g of fat, of which 18% is saturated; supply 135 kcal (570 kJ).

2. Water chestnut, seeds of Trapa natans, also called caltrops or sinharanut; eaten raw or roasted.

3. Chinese water chestnut, also called matai or waternut; tuber of the sedge, Eleocharis tuberosa or dulcis; white flesh in a black, horned shell.

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chestnut

chestnut Deciduous tree native to temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere. It has lance-shaped leaves and furrowed bark. Male flowers hang in long catkins, females are solitary or clustered at the base of catkins. The prickly husked fruits open to reveal two or three edible nuts. Family Fagaceae; genus Castanea; there are four species. See also horse chestnut

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chestnut

chestnut XVI. The first element is ME. chesteine, chasteine (XIV) — OF. chastaine (mod. châtaigne) :- L. castanea — Gr. kastanéā.

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chestnut

chestnut
1. (Castanea) See FAGACEAE.

2. (horse-chestnut) See HIPPOCASTANACEAE.

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chestnut

chestnutabut, but, butt, cut, glut, gut, hut, intercut, jut, Mut, mutt, nut, phut, putt, rut, scut, shortcut, shut, slut, smut, strut, tut, undercut •sackbut • scuttlebutt • catgut •midgut • Vonnegut • rotgut • haircut •offcut • cross-cut • linocut • crew cut •woodcut • uppercut • chestnut •hazelnut • peanut • wing nut • cobnut •locknut • walnut • groundnut •doughnut (US donut) • coconut •butternut

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