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90s Slang You Should Know


[ey-kawrn, ey-kern] /ˈeɪ kɔrn, ˈeɪ kərn/
the typically ovoid fruit or nut of an oak, enclosed at the base by a cupule.
a finial or knop, as on a piece of furniture, in the form of an acorn.
Origin of acorn
before 1000; Middle English acorne (influenced by corn1), replacing akern, Old English æcern, æcren mast, oak-mast; cognate with Old Norse akarn fruit of wild trees, Middle High German ackeran acorn, Gothic akran fruit, yield < Germanic *akrana-; alleged derivation from base of acre is dubious if original reference was to wild trees
Related forms
acorned, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for acorn
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There is another kind of chesnuts, which are called the acorn chesnuts, as they are shaped like an acorn, and grow in such a cup.

    The History of Louisiana Le Page Du Pratz
  • The great Oak had once been small—indeed, an acorn had been its cradle.

    What the Moon Saw: and Other Tales Hans Christian Andersen
  • acorn Island is just the finest kind of a place for a camp,” said the enthusiastic Jess.

    The Girls of Central High in Camp Gertrude W. Morrison
  • It was like an acorn with the cup taken off in shape, and of a reddish-brown colour.

    A Visit to Java W. Basil Worsfold
  • Little Mr Field Mouse ran to the root and poked his nose under after the acorn, and there he saw a small round hole in the ground.

    Stories to Tell Children Sara Cone Bryant
British Dictionary definitions for acorn


the fruit of an oak tree, consisting of a smooth thick-walled nut in a woody scaly cuplike base
Word Origin
C16: a variant (through influence of corn) of Old English æcern the fruit of a tree, acorn; related to Gothic akran fruit, yield
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for acorn

Old English æcern "nut," common Germanic (cf. Old Norse akarn, Dutch aker, Low German ecker "acorn," German Ecker, Gothic akran "fruit"), originally the mast of any forest tree, and ultimately related (via notion of "fruit of the open or unenclosed land") to Old English æcer "open land," Gothic akrs "field," Old French aigrun "fruits and vegetables" (from a Germanic source); see acre.

The sense gradually restricted in Low German, Scandinavian, and English to the most important of the forest produce for feeding swine, the mast of the oak tree. Spelling changed 15c.-16c. by folk etymology association with oak (Old English ac) and corn (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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