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a. An eastern North American walnut (Juglans cinerea) having light-brown wood, pinnately compound leaves, and a deeply furrowed nut enclosed in an egg-shaped, sticky, aromatic husk. Also called white walnut.
b. The nut of this tree, having an edible sweet kernel.
c. The wood of this tree, used for furniture, boxes, and interior finishes.
d. The bark of this tree.
e. A brownish dye obtained from the husks of the fruits of this tree.
a. butternuts Clothing dyed with butternut extract, especially the uniforms of Confederate soldiers in the Civil War.
b. Informal A Confederate soldier or partisan in the Civil War.

[From the nut's oiliness.]


1. (Plants) a walnut tree, Juglans cinerea of E North America. Compare black walnut
2. (Plants) the oily edible egg-shaped nut of this tree
3. (Plants) the hard brownish-grey wood of this tree
4. (Plants) the bark of this tree or an extract from it, formerly used as a laxative
5. (Colours) a brownish colour or dye
6. (Plants) NZ short for butternut pumpkin
Also called (for senses 1–4): white walnut


(ˈbʌt ərˌnʌt)

1. the edible oily nut of an American tree, Juglans cinerea, of the walnut family.
2. the tree itself, whose bark and husks yield a light brown dye.
3. a Confederate soldier or partisan in the Civil War, esp. one whose uniform was dyed with this extract.
4. a light brown color.
[1735–45, Amer.]


A light brown dye used for Confederate uniforms, obtained from a solution of acorns or walnut hulls.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.butternut - North American walnut tree having light-brown wood and edible nutsbutternut - North American walnut tree having light-brown wood and edible nuts; source of a light-brown dye
butternut - oily egg-shaped nut of an American tree of the walnut family
genus Juglans, Juglans - type genus of the Juglandaceae
walnut tree, walnut - any of various trees of the genus Juglans
2.butternut - oily egg-shaped nut of an American tree of the walnut family
edible nut - a hard-shelled seed consisting of an edible kernel or meat enclosed in a woody or leathery shell
butternut, butternut tree, Juglans cinerea, white walnut - North American walnut tree having light-brown wood and edible nuts; source of a light-brown dye
References in classic literature ?
Elnathan, then about fifteen, was, much like a wild colt, caught and trimmed by clipping his bushy locks; dressed in a suit of homespun, dyed in the butternut bark; furnished with a “New Testament” and a “Webster’s Spelling Book,” and sent to school.
Robinson said that he forgot his coat after leaving to go hunting last Sunday and headed back to his home in the Otsego County town of Butternuts.
In the restaurant, though, I tend to stick with butternuts.
Nothing says seasonal for him like his butternut squash and parmesan soup "PUMPKINS and squash aren't just for Hallowe'en, you know.
A 1995 USDA Forest Service study estimated that the canker was responsible for widespread damage to butternut trees, resulting in the toss of almost 77 percent of the butternuts in the Southeast.
Butternut often has been catted the "white walnut" or the "other walnut.
Unlike the ubiquitous elms or chestnuts, however, butternuts have never been numerous.
The spores of the fungus killing butternuts are spread by wind and rain, but researchers have recently discovered more than 17 species of beetles that can carry the spores from tree to tree, the Times reported.
Wood taken from healthy butternuts is sent to Minnesota for grafting to more resistant black walnut trees, close cousins of the butternut.
A similar fate befell another native New Yorker, the butternut tree, now under attack from a canker that sucks the life from this hardwood, prized not only for its tasty nuts, but for its high quality wood used in cabinet making.
When I was a young girl," she said, "my father took me out to gather butternuts.
As the Center's director, I try to help people solve their nature problems, and I knew we had some large butternuts up near our north property line.