[ kawrn ]
See synonyms for corn on
  1. Also called Indian corn; especially technical and British, maize . a tall cereal plant, Zea mays, cultivated in many varieties, having a jointed, solid stem and bearing the grain, seeds, or kernels on large ears.

  2. the grain, seeds, or kernels of this plant, used for human food or for fodder.

  1. the ears of this plant.

  2. the edible seed of certain other cereal plants, especially wheat in England and oats in Scotland.

  3. the plants themselves.

  4. Skiing. corn snow.

  5. Informal. old-fashioned, trite, or mawkishly sentimental material, as a joke, a story, or music.

verb (used with object)
  1. to preserve and season with salt in grains.

  2. to preserve and season with brine.

  1. to granulate, as gunpowder.

  2. to plant (land) with corn.

  3. to feed with corn.

Origin of corn

First recorded before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Dutch koren, Old Norse korn, German Korn, Gothic kaúrn; akin to Russian zernó, Latin grānum grain

Words Nearby corn

Other definitions for corn (2 of 4)

[ kawrn ]

  1. a horny induration or callosity of the epidermis, usually with a central core, formed especially on the toes or feet and caused by undue pressure or friction.

Origin of corn

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English corn(e), from Anglo-French, Old French, from Latin cornū horn (hence a horny hardening of the cuticle); see origin at cornu

Other definitions for -corn (3 of 4)


  1. a combining form meaning “having a horn,” of the kind specified by the initial element: longicorn.

Origin of -corn

Representing Latin -cornis horned

Other definitions for Corn. (4 of 4)


  1. Cornish.

  2. Cornwall. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use corn in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for corn (1 of 2)


/ (kɔːn) /

  1. British

    • any of various cereal plants, esp the predominant crop of a region, such as wheat in England and oats in Scotland and Ireland

    • the seeds of such plants, esp after harvesting

    • a single seed of such plants; a grain

  2. Also called: Indian corn British equivalent: maize

    • a tall annual grass, Zea mays, cultivated for its yellow edible grains, which develop on a spike

    • the grain of this plant, used for food, fodder, and as a source of oil: See also sweet corn (def. 1), popcorn (def. 1)

    • the plants producing these kinds of grain considered as a growing crop: spring corn

    • (in combination): a cornfield

  1. short for corn whisky

  2. slang an idea, song, etc, regarded as banal or sentimental

  3. archaic, or dialect any hard particle or grain

  1. to feed (animals) with corn, esp oats

    • to preserve in brine

    • to salt

  1. to plant corn on

Origin of corn

Old English corn; related to Old Norse, Old High German corn, Gothic kaúrn, Latin grānum, Sanskrit jīrná fragile

British Dictionary definitions for corn (2 of 2)


/ (kɔːn) /

  1. a hardening or thickening of the skin around a central point in the foot, caused by pressure or friction

  2. tread on someone's corns British informal to offend or hurt someone by touching on a sensitive subject or encroaching on his privileges

Origin of corn

C15: from Old French corne horn, from Latin cornū

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