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[huhn-ee] /ˈhʌn i/
noun, plural honeys.
a sweet, viscid fluid produced by bees from the nectar collected from flowers, and stored in nests or hives as food.
this substance as used in cooking or as a spread or sweetener.
the nectar of flowers.
any of various similarly sweet, viscid products produced by insects or in other ways.
something sweet, delicious, or delightful:
the honey of flattery.
Informal. a person for whom one feels love or deep affection; sweetheart; darling.
(sometimes initial capital letter) an affectionate or familiar term of address, as to a child or romantic partner (sometimes offensive when used to strangers, casual acquaintances, subordinates, etc., especially by a male to a female).
Informal. something of especially high quality, degree of excellence, etc.:
That's a honey of a computer.
of, like, or pertaining to honey; sweet.
containing honey or flavored or sweetened with honey.
verb (used with object), honeyed or honied, honeying.
Informal. to talk flatteringly or endearingly to (often followed by up).
to sweeten or flavor with or as if with honey.
verb (used without object), honeyed or honied, honeying.
Informal. to use flattery, endearing terms, etc., in an effort to obtain something (often followed by up):
They always got what they wanted by honeying up to their grandfather.
Origin of honey
before 900; Middle English hony, Old English hunig; cognate with Dutch, German honig, Old Norse hunang; akin to Greek knēkós pale yellow, tawny
Related forms
honeyful, adjective
honeyless, adjective
honeylike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for honey
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What mattered it that the honey of it was as ashes in her mouth?

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • We shall find flowers as large as trees, fruits sweeter than honey.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • "It's not the least mite I'm blaming you, honey," said Katy.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
  • Was he loaded with millet-seed on one side and honey on the other?

    Tom Sawyer Abroad Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • The waitress had brought the tea and bread and honey, and they waited until she had gone.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
British Dictionary definitions for honey


a sweet viscid substance made by bees from nectar and stored in their nests or hives as food. It is spread on bread or used as a sweetening agent
any similar sweet substance, esp the nectar of flowers
anything that is sweet or delightful
(often capital) (mainly US & Canadian) a term of endearment
(informal, mainly US & Canadian) something considered to be very good of its kind: a honey of a car
(modifier) of, concerned with, or resembling honey
verb honeys, honeying, honeyed, honied
(transitive) to sweeten with or as if with honey
(often foll by up) to talk to (someone) in a fond or flattering way
Derived Forms
honey-like, adjective
Word Origin
Old English huneg; related to Old Norse hunang, Old Saxon hanig, German Honig, Greek knēkos yellowish, Sanskrit kánaka- gold
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for honey

Old English hunig, from Proto-Germanic *hunagam- (cf. Old Norse hunang, Swedish honung, Old Saxon huneg, Old Frisian hunig, Middle Dutch honich, Dutch honig, Old High German honang, German Honig "honey"); perhaps from PIE *k(e)neko- "yellow, golden" (cf. Sanskrit kancanum, Welsh canecon "gold"). The more common Indo-European word is represented by Gothic miliþ (from PIE *melith "honey;" see Melissa). A term of endearment from at least mid-14c. Meaning "anything good of its kind" is 1888, American English.


mid-14c., from honey (n.). Related: Honeyed; honeying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for honey



  1. One's sweetheart, beloved, spouse, etc (1880+)
  2. Any pleasant, decent person; pussycat, sweetie (1880+)
  3. A person or thing that is remarkable, wonderful, superior, etc; dilly, humdinger: Ain't this a honey of a show? (1888+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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