from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A deciduous tree (Pistacia vera) of central and western Asia, having pinnately compound leaves and dry, drupaceous, nutlike fruits.
  • n. The nutlike fruit of this tree, having an edible, oily, green or yellow kernel.
  • n. The flavor of these nuts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A deciduous tree, Pistacia vera, grown in parts of Asia for its drupaceous fruit
  • n. The nutlike fruit of this tree

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The nut of the Pistacia vera, a tree of the order Anacardiaceæ, containing a kernel of a pale greenish color, which has a pleasant taste, resembling that of the almond, and yields an oil of agreeable taste and odor; -- called also pistachio nut. It is wholesome and nutritive. The tree grows in Arabia, Persia, Syria, and Sicily.
  • n. The small anacardiaceous tree (Pistacia vera), of southern Europe and Asia Minor, which bears the pistachio nut. Called also pistache.
  • n. The flavor of the pistachio nut, or an ice or confection flavored with it.
  • n. Pistachio green.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as pistachio-nut.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. small tree of southern Europe and Asia Minor bearing small hard-shelled nuts
  • n. nut of Mediterranean trees having an edible green kernel


Italian pistacchio, from Latin pistacium, pistachio nut, from Greek pistakion, from pistakē, pistachio tree, perhaps from Middle Persian *pistak.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian pistacchio, from Latin pistacium ("pistachio"), from Ancient Greek πιστάκιον (pistakion), from πιστάκη (pistakē, "pistachio tree"), of Iranian origin; compare Kurdish pisteq, Persian پسته (pista), Middle Persian 𐭯𐭮𐭲𐭪 (pistag, "pistachio nut"), Old Armenian պիստակ (pistak) (from Iranian). (Wiktionary)



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  • The shell of the pistachio nut is naturally a beige colour, but it is sometimes dyed red or green in commercial pistachios. Originally the dye was applied by importers to hide stains on the shells caused when the nuts were picked by hand. However most pistachios are now picked by machine and the shells remain unstained, making dyeing unnecessary (except that some consumers have been led to expect coloured pistachios).

    January 27, 2008