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[nuht-krak-er] /ˈnʌtˌkræk ər/
an instrument or device for cracking the shells of nuts.
any of several corvine birds of the genus Nucifraga that feed on nuts, as the common nutcracker, N. caryocatactes, of Europe and Clark's nutcracker, N. columbiana, of the western U.S.
Origin of nutcracker
First recorded in 1540-50; nut + cracker Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for nutcracker
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Type locality of Lewis's woodpecker and Clarke's nutcracker.

  • It feeds on very hard fruits, as the nutcracker and the Pyrrhocorax.

    At Last Charles Kingsley
  • The same person confessed to me, that he had once actually laid aside his head for a nutcracker.

  • Why can you crack a hard nut with a nutcracker when you cannot crack it by squeezing it between two pieces of iron?

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • She had a stick and a nutcracker face and a pair of large iron bowed spectacles.

    Robin Frances Hodgson Burnett
British Dictionary definitions for nutcracker


(often pl) a device for cracking the shells of nuts
either of two birds, Nucifraga caryocatactes of the Old World or N. columbianus (Clark's nutcracker) of North America, having speckled plumage and feeding on nuts, seeds, etc: family Corvidae (crows)
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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