- any of a genus (Carpinus) of small, hardy trees of the birch family, with smooth, gray bark and drooping catkins with flat, papery bracts around a greenish nut
- the very hard, white wood of this tree, which takes a hornlike polish and is used for tool handles, etc.
Origin of hornbeamhorn + beam
- Any of various small deciduous trees of the genus Carpinus, having smooth grayish bark, small nuts borne in leaflike bracts, and hard wood.
- The wood of one of these trees.
Origin of hornbeamSo called because its finely grained wood resembles horn when polished.