[ haw-thawrn ]
/ ˈhɔˌθɔrn /


any of numerous plants belonging to the genus Crataegus, of the rose family, typically a small tree with stiff thorns, certain North American species of which have white or pink blossoms and bright-colored fruits and are cultivated in hedges.

Origin of hawthorn

before 900; Middle English; Old English haguthorn, cognate with Middle Dutch hagedorn, Middle High German hagendorn, Old Norse hagthorn. See haw3, thorn
Related formshaw·thorn·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hawthorn

British Dictionary definitions for hawthorn


/ (ˈhɔːˌθɔːn) /


any of various thorny trees or shrubs of the N temperate rosaceous genus Crataegus, esp C. oxyacantha, having white or pink flowers and reddish fruits (haws)Also called (in Britain): may, may tree, mayflower

Word Origin for hawthorn

Old English haguthorn from haga hedge + thorn thorn; related to Old Norse hagthorn, Middle High German hagendorn, Dutch haagdoorn
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 hawthorn



Old English hagaþorn, earlier hæguþorn "hawthorn, white thorn," from obsolete haw "hedge or encompassing fence" (see haw) + thorn. A common Germanic name, cf. Middle Dutch and German hagedorn, Swedish hagtorn, Old Norse hagþorn.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper