Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A horny thickening of the skin, usually on or near a toe, resulting from pressure or friction.
  • noun Any of numerous cultivated forms of a widely grown, usually tall annual cereal grass (Zea mays) bearing grains or kernels on large ears.
  • noun The grains or kernels of this plant, used as food for humans and livestock or for the extraction of an edible oil or starch.
  • noun An ear of this plant.
  • noun Chiefly British Any of various cereal plants or grains, especially the principal crop cultivated in a particular region, such as wheat in England or oats in Scotland.
  • noun A single grain of a cereal plant.
  • noun A seed or fruit of various other plants, such as a peppercorn.
  • noun Corn snow.
  • noun Informal Corn whiskey.
  • noun Slang Something considered trite, dated, melodramatic, or unduly sentimental.
  • intransitive verb To cause to form hard particles; granulate.
  • intransitive verb To season and preserve with granulated salt.
  • intransitive verb To preserve (beef, for example) in brine.
  • intransitive verb To feed (animals) with corn or grain.
  • intransitive verb To form hard particles; become grainy.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To form corns or seeds in the ear or pod; kern: said of cereals or pulse.
  • To preserve and season with salt in grains; lay down in brine, as meat: as, to corn beef or pork.
  • To granulate; form into small grains.
  • To feed with oats, as a horse.
  • To plant with corn.
  • To render intoxicated; make drunk, as with whisky.
  • To beg corn of farmers on St. Thomas's day, December 21st.
  • noun Same as corn-starch, 2.
  • noun A term applied to flour made from rice or other grain.
  • noun A recent product which consists of the finely ground grain of Indian corn exclusive of the chit or germ. It is finer than corn meal, and being nearly free from oil is of better keeping quality; but it has lost the corn flavor and lacks gluten, and hence must be used in mixture with strong wheat flour.
  • noun A brand of corn-feed made up mostly of the hulls and germs of maize-kernels.
  • noun An abbreviation of Cornish and of Cornwall.
  • noun A thickening or callosity of the epidermis, usually with a central core or nucleus, caused by undue pressure or friction, as by boots, shoes, or implements of occupation. Corns are most common on the feet.
  • noun Any horny excrescence.
  • noun A single seed of certain plants, especially of cereal plants, as wheat, rye, barley, and maize; a grain.
  • noun The seeds of cereal plants in general, in bulk or quantity; grain: as, corn is dear or scarce.
  • noun The plants which produce corn when growing in the field; the stalks and ears, or the stalks, ears, and seeds after reaping and before threshing: as, a field of corn; a sheaf or a shock of corn; a load of corn. The plants or stalks are included in the term corn until the seed is separated from the ears.
  • noun A small hard particle; a grain.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To preserve and season with salt in grains; to sprinkle with salt; to cure by salting; now, specifically, to salt slightly in brine or otherwise.
  • transitive verb To form into small grains; to granulate.
  • transitive verb To feed with corn or (in Sctland) oats.
  • transitive verb colloq. To render intoxicated.
  • transitive verb a house or place where powder is corned or granulated.
  • noun A single seed of certain plants, as wheat, rye, barley, and maize; a grain.
  • noun The various farinaceous grains of the cereal grasses used for food, as wheat, rye, barley, maize, oats.
  • noun a tall cereal plant (Zea mays) bearing its seeds as large kernels in multiple rows on the surface of a hard cylindrical ear, the core of which (the cob) is not edible; -- also called Indian corn and, in technical literature, maize. There are several kinds; as, yellow corn, which grows chiefly in the Northern States, and is yellow when ripe; white corn or southern corn, which grows to a great height, and has long white kernels; sweet corn, comprising a number of sweet and tender varieties, grown chiefly at the North, some of which have kernels that wrinkle when ripe and dry; pop corn, any small variety, used for popping. Corn seeds may be cooked while on the ear and eaten directly, or may be stripped from the ear and cooked subsequently. The term Indian corn is often used to refer to a primitive type of corn having kernels of varied color borne on the same cob; it is used for decoration, especially in the fall.
  • noun The plants which produce corn, when growing in the field; the stalks and ears, or the stalks, ears, and seeds, after reaping and before thrashing.
  • noun A small, hard particle; a grain.
  • noun a ball of popped corn stuck together with soft candy from molasses or sugar.
  • noun bread made of Indian meal.
  • noun a kind of corn bread; johnny cake; hoecake.
  • noun (Bot.) a weed (Agrostemma Githago syn. Lychnis Githago), having bright flowers, common in grain fields.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English corne, from Old French, horn, from Latin cornū; see ker- in Indo-European roots.]

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

[Middle English, grain, from Old English; see gr̥ə-no- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French corn (modern French cor).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

This use was first used in 1932, as corny, something appealing to country folk.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English corn, from Proto-Germanic *kurnan, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵr̥h₂nóm (“grain; worn-down”), neuter participle of Proto-Indo-European *ǵer- (“to wear down”). Cognate with Dutch koren, German Korn, Danish/Norwegian/Swedish korn; see also Russian зерно (zerno), Czech zrno, Latin grānum, Lithuanian žirnis and English grain.

Examples

Comments

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  • Hate this word when pronounced by Americans.

    August 15, 2008

  • Why?

    August 15, 2008

  • KWOAAARRNNN.

    That's why.

    August 21, 2008

  • That's odd. I pronounce it "corn."

    This is one of those words I dislike when Brits/Aussies pronounce, since they can't say an R correctly. :-)

    "Cohn." Bleh.

    August 21, 2008

  • I'm with crunchy. Who says you need a vibra-twang snozzwhanger up your nose to pronounce an R? Admittedly, I have two Filipino native speakers in my office and they do an even worse job on this word.

    August 21, 2008

  • That's odd. I also pronounce it "corn".

    Funny old world, innit?

    August 21, 2008

  • I too pronounce it like 'corn': /kɔːn/, rhymes with 'pawn'.

    August 21, 2008

  • I pronounce it "corn", rhymes with my mispronunciations of torn, horn, born...

    August 21, 2008

  • How weird that we all pronounce it "corn." We must all have something in common! ;)

    August 21, 2008

  • I have never, ever heard someone pronounce corn as KWOAAARRNNN. However, I have heard people say "corn." Lots of them. With no vibra-twang snozzwhanger up their noses.

    How odd.

    August 21, 2008