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  1. an alcoholic liquor made by fermenting honey and water.
  2. any of various nonalcoholic beverages.

Origin of mead1

before 900; Middle English mede, Old English medu, meodu; cognate with Dutch mee, German Met, Old Norse mjǫthr mead, Sanskrit madhu honey, Greek méthy wine


noun Archaic.
  1. meadow.

Origin of mead2

before 1000; Middle English mede, Old English mǣd. See meadow


  1. George Herbert,1863–1931, U.S. philosopher and author.
  2. Margaret,1901–78, U.S. anthropologist.
  3. Lake, a lake in NW Arizona and SE Nevada, formed 1936 by Hoover Dam. 115 miles (185 km) long; 227 sq. mi. (588 sq. km).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mead

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • One more round of mead or ale and the score to the last comer.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • After the intoxication, When they drank the mead, Not one was spared.

    Y Gododin


  • But of old Soma was drunk as mead was drunk by the Scandinavians, before and after battle.


    Benjamin Taylor

  • But I was there, and drank wine and mead till my beard was wet.

  • Then she fetched from the cellar kvass, mead, beer, and wine.

    Russian Fairy Tales

    W. R. S. Ralston

British Dictionary definitions for mead


  1. an alcoholic drink made by fermenting a solution of honey, often with spices added

Word Origin

Old English meodu; related to Old High German metu, Greek methu, Welsh medd


  1. an archaic or poetic word for meadow

Word Origin

Old English mǣd


  1. Lake Mead a reservoir in NW Arizona and SE Nevada, formed by the Hoover Dam across the Colorado River: one of the largest man-made lakes in the world. Area: 588 sq km (227 sq miles)


  1. Margaret. 1901–78, US anthropologist. Her works include Coming of Age in Samoa (1928) and Male and Female (1949)
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

Word Origin and History for mead


"fermented honey drink," Old English medu, from Proto-Germanic *meduz (cf. Old Norse mjöðr, Danish mjød, Old Frisian and Middle Dutch mede, Old High German metu, German Met "mead"), from PIE root *medhu- "honey, sweet drink" (cf. Sanskrit madhu "sweet, sweet drink, wine, honey," Greek methy "wine," Old Church Slavonic medu, Lithuanian medus "honey," Old Irish mid, Welsh medd, Breton mez "mead"). Synonymous but unrelated early Middle English meþeglin yielded Chaucer's meeth.


"meadow," Old English mæd, Anglian med "meadow, pasture," from Proto-Germanic *medwo (cf. Old Frisian mede, Dutch made, German Matte "meadow," Old English mæþ "harvest, crop"), from PIE *metwa- "a mown field," from root *me- "mow, cut down grass or grain" (see mow (v.)). Now only archaic or poetic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper