noun, plural buck·eyes.

any of various trees or shrubs of the genus Aesculus, as A. glabra (Ohio buckeye), having palmate leaves, gray, scaly bark, and bell-shaped greenish-yellow flowers in upright clusters: the state tree of Ohio.
the brown nut of any of these trees.
(initial capital letter) a native or inhabitant of Ohio (used as a nickname).
a butterfly, Precis lavinia, having dark-brown wings with purple or red eyespots.

Origin of buckeye

1755–65, Americanism; buck1 stag + eye, orig. used to designate def. 1, in allusion to the look of the seed
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for buck-eye

Historical Examples of buck-eye

  • Ohio is called the "Buck-eye" state and is named after this tree.


    Alan Douglas

  • The leaves of the Buck-eye are five-fingered, while those of the tree commonly called the Horse Chestnut are seven-fingered.


    Alan Douglas

  • She was soon opposite the lawn; and, sure enough, proved to be what Lucien had said she was—the mail-steamer “Buck-eye.”

    The Boy Hunters

    Captain Mayne Reid

  • Its favourite haunt is among the red and scentless flowers of the buck-eye, or the large trumpet-shaped blossoms of the bignonia.

    The Quadroon

    Mayne Reid

  • On the eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia the dugout is made into a sail-boat called the buck-eye, or bug-eye.

    Boat-Building and Boating

    Daniel Carter Beard

British Dictionary definitions for buck-eye



any of several North American trees of the genus Aesculus, esp A. glabra (Ohio buckeye), having erect clusters of white or red flowers and prickly fruits: family HippocastanaceaeSee also horse chestnut
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

Word Origin and History for buck-eye

"American horse chestnut," 1763, said to be so called from resemblance of the nut to a stag's eye. See buck (n.1) + eye (n.). Meaning "native of Ohio" is attested since 1822.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper