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.
3. See souari nut.
[From the nut's oiliness.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.