Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several deciduous trees of the genus Castanea native to northern temperate regions, having alternate simple toothed leaves, and nuts that are enclosed in a prickly husk.
  • n. The often edible nut of any of these trees.
  • n. The wood of any of these trees.
  • n. Any of several other plants, such as the horse chestnut.
  • n. A moderate to deep reddish brown.
  • n. A reddish-brown horse.
  • n. A small hard callus on the inner surface of a horse's foreleg.
  • n. An old, frequently repeated joke, story, or song.
  • adj. Of a moderate to deep reddish brown.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tree or shrub of the genus Castanea.
  • n. The nut of this tree or shrub.
  • n. A dark, reddish-brown colour/color.
  • n. A reddish-brown horse.
  • n. The wood of a chestnut tree.
  • n. (Often "old chestnut") A worn-out meme; a work so often repeated as to have grown tiresome.
  • n. A part of a horse found on the inner leg, similar to a birthmark on a human.
  • adj. Of a deep reddish-brown colour, like that of a chestnut.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining of a chestnut; of a reddish brown color.
  • n. The edible nut of a forest tree (Castanea vesce) of Europe and America. Commonly two or more of the nuts grow in a prickly bur.
  • n. The tree itself, or its light, coarse-grained timber, used for ornamental work, furniture, etc.
  • n. A bright brown color, like that of the nut.
  • n. The horse chestnut (often so used in England).
  • n. One of the round, or oval, horny plates on the inner sides of the legs of the horse, and allied animals.
  • n. An old joke or story.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The fruit of trees of the genus Castanea. See 2.
  • n. The tree Castanea vesca, natural order Cupuliferœ, a native of western Asia, southern Europe, and the United States east of the Mississippi.
  • n. A name given to certain trees or plants of other genera, and to their fruit. See below.
  • n. The color of a chestnut; a reddish-brown color.
  • n. In farriery, the bur or horny wart-like excrescence on the inner side of a horse's leg.
  • n. [In allusion to a stale or worm-eaten chestnut.] An old joke; a trite jest; a stale pun or anecdote; a “Joe Miller.”
  • n. A worn-out phrase or catchword; a phrase or expression serious in form and intent, but which has ceased, through futile repetition, to command interest or respect.
  • Of the color of a chestnut; of a reddish-brown color; castaneous.
  • Also spelled chesnut.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. edible nut of any of various chestnut trees of the genus Castanea
  • n. any of several attractive deciduous trees yellow-brown in autumn; yield a hard wood and edible nuts in a prickly bur
  • adj. (of hair or feathers) of a golden brown to reddish brown color
  • n. a small horny callus on the inner surface of a horse's leg
  • n. wood of any of various chestnut trees of the genus Castanea
  • n. a dark golden-brown or reddish-brown horse
  • n. the brown color of chestnuts

Etymologies

Earlier chesten (from Middle English chesteine, from Old French chastaigne, from Latin castanea, from Greek kastaneā, chestnut tree, from kastana, sweet chestnuts) + nut.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Formerly chesten nut, from Middle English chasteine, from Old French chastaigne, from Latin castanea, from Ancient Greek καστάνεια (kastaneia). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This is, to repeat the old Wittgenstein chestnut below, like the sunset: It “looks like” the sun is setting, when in reality the earth is turning on its axis.

    A Coda on Free Will

  • The "we're descending into an ice age" chestnut is actually a great demonstration of how well science works.

    Jack Schmitt on Global Warming - NASA Watch

  • I do like chestnuts too, usually eaten with pasta or in chestnut flavour Kit-Kats, which have an almost coffee-like flavour and are well worth hunting down.

    Japanese autumn bus tours

  • “It is an evolution of the old chestnut from the 20th century, if you like Socialism so much why don1t you go and live in Russia!”

    Archive 2007-04-22

  • There's also this chestnut from the post-election spin: If Bush has misjudged the public appetite for an ambitious conservative agenda, he is not the only one.

    05/02/2005

  • National Language - this old chestnut is being revived in certain sectors, with same old pros and cons.

    Archive 2004-07-01

  • Buildings are clad in English chestnut shingles and the deck, which connects the three classrooms, can be used as an outdoor teaching environment when weather permits.

    Gizmag Emerging Technology Magazine

  • In that case, fungus called chestnut blight brought in from Asia caused the devastation.

    PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

  • The most common chestnut is “I didn’t fall in love with your book as much as I had hoped to,” which means I hated your book.

    Writer Unboxed » Blog Archive » Interview: Pat Walsh, editor at MacAdam/Cage Publishing

  • The chestnut was the best horse in his stable: a frequent winner, popular with the public, a source of prestige as well as revenue.

    The Elvis Latte

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Comments

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  • Not chestnut budcreep! Where will phenology lead us next?

    July 26, 2010

  • "Since 1818, a particular chestnut tree has been used as the official "herald of the spring" in Geneva. The sautier (secretary of the Parliament of the Canton of Geneva) observes the tree and notes the day of arrival of the first bud. While this event has no practical effect, the sautier issues a formal press release and the local newspaper will usually mention the news.

    As this is one of the world's oldest records of a plant's reaction to climatic conditions, researchers have been interested to note that the first bud appears earlier and earlier in the year. During the first century, many dates were in March or April. In recent years, it has usually been in mid-February and sometimes even earlier. In 2002, the first bud appeared unusually early, on 7 February, and then again on 29 December of the same year. The following year, which was one of the hottest years recorded in Europe, became a year with no bud. In 2008, the first bud also appeared very early, on 19 February."

    - From the Wikipedia article about Geneva, Switzerland.

    July 26, 2010

  • See also castaneous.

    September 8, 2008