A nut is a hard-shelled fruit of some plants having an indehiscent seed. While a wide variety of dried seeds and fruits are called nuts in English, only a certain number of them are considered by biologists to be true nuts. Nuts are an important source of nutrients for both humans and wildlife.
Nuts are a composite of the seed and the fruit, where the fruit does not open to release the seed. Most seeds come from fruits, and the seeds are free of the fruit, unlike nuts like hazelnuts, hickories, chestnuts and acorns, which have a stony fruit wall and originate from a compound ovary. Culinary usage of the term is less restrictive, and some nuts as defined in food preparation, like pistachios and Brazil nuts, are not nuts in a biological sense. Everyday common usage of the term often refers to any hard walled, edible kernel, as a nut.