[Sax. haesel.] A genus of nut-bearing plants or small trees of the order Coryleae. The hazel is a native of all the temperate parts of Europe and Asia. It is also common in North America. In England the hazel is cultivated for its nuts (filberts), from which, on pressure, a valuable oil is obtained. The wood of the hazel is largely used - the smaller kind for making crates, baskets, hoops, whip-handles, etc. ; and the larger wood for charcoal, which is in great demand for forges, for the manufacture of gunpowder and of artists' crayons.