General English


  • The edible fruit (up to 4 cm diameter) of the sweet chestnut tree, Castanea sativa, a native of southern Europe. It has a hard woody skin and a cream-coloured interior containing more starch and less protein and fat than most nuts.


  • noun a bright red-brown nut

Origin & History of “chestnut”

The Greek word for ‘chestnut’ was kastanéā, which appears to have meant originally ‘nut from Castanea’ (in Pontus, Asia minor) or ‘nut from Castana’ (in Thessaly, Greece). It came into English via Latin castanea and Old French chastaine, which in the 14th century produced the middle English form chasteine or chesteine. over the next two hundred years this developed to chestern, and in due course had nut added to it to produce the modern English form. Castan̄a, the Spanish descendant of Latin castanea, is the source of castanet.