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horse chestnut

a tree, Aesculus hippocastanum, native to the Old World, having digitate leaves and upright clusters of white flowers.
the shiny, brown, nutlike seed of this tree or of other trees of the genus Aesculus.
Origin of horse chestnut
1590-1600; translation of New Latin castanea equīna; so named from its use in treating respiratory diseases of horses Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for horse-chestnut
Historical Examples
  • And the apple-tree and the horse-chestnut and the elm—of course I like them.

    The Very Small Person Annie Hamilton Donnell
  • Soon the wistaria would bloom, then the horse-chestnut; but not for her.

  • They are as sticky as horse-chestnut buds, and much nicer to eat.

    The Magic City Edith Nesbit
  • She was perched on one of the highest branches of a horse-chestnut tree.

    Lalage's Lovers George A. Birmingham
  • The horse-chestnut you mention in the garden was planted by my mother.

    Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee (His Son) Captain Robert E. Lee
  • You jump from the sill of the first landing window into the horse-chestnut.

    The Hill Horace Annesley Vachell
  • It consists of the word "Buckeye" with a branch of the buckeye (horse-chestnut) tree.

    All About Coffee William H. Ukers
  • The little boys were in a horse-chestnut tree, at the side of the house.

    The Peterkin Papers Lucretia P Hale
  • horse-chestnut is another instance of the application of the term to plants.

    Domesticated Animals Nathaniel Southgate Shaler
  • The horse-chestnut is common, and then come a host of trees of minor growth.

    Poachers and Poaching John Watson
British Dictionary definitions for horse-chestnut

horse chestnut

any of several trees of the genus Aesculus, esp the Eurasian A. hippocastanum, having palmate leaves, erect clusters of white, pink, or red flowers, and brown shiny inedible nuts enclosed in a spiky bur: family Hippocastanaceae
Also called conker. the nut of this tree
Word Origin
C16: so called from its having been used in the treatment of respiratory disease in horses
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 horse-chestnut

1590s, from horse + chestnut. A tree probably native to Asia, introduced in England c.1550; the name also was extended to similar North American species such as the buckeye. Said to have been so called because it was food for horses. The nut resembles that of the edible chestnut but is bitter to the taste.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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