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[nek-ter] /ˈnɛk tər/
the saccharine secretion of a plant, which attracts the insects or birds that pollinate the flower.
the juice of a fruit, especially when not diluted, or a blend of fruit juices:
pear nectar; tropical nectar.
Classical Mythology. the life-giving drink of the gods.
Compare ambrosia (def 1).
any delicious drink.
Origin of nectar
1545-55; < Latin < Greek néktar
Related forms
nectarlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for nectar
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She bears to his lips the golden goblet, filled with the nectar of the gods.

  • Do you remember telling me you could see no nectar in your Rhexia?

  • nectar when she turns towards thee: poison when she turns away?

  • This was warm and sweet and strange, like the nectar of flowers she had held to her lips.

    A Little Girl in Old Quebec Amanda Millie Douglas
  • He stayed, however, quite a long time; and the other deities soon contracted the habit of taking their nectar into the library.

    Masques & Phases Robert Ross
  • I share the good with every flower,I drink the nectar of the hour.

    The Life Radiant Lilian Whiting
  • Kay Robinson extends this explanation to the shape, the scent, and the nectar of flowers.

    The Making of Species Douglas Dewar
  • It tasted like nectar—better than any draught I had ever had before or since!

    The White Squall John Conroy Hutcheson
British Dictionary definitions for nectar


a sugary fluid produced in the nectaries of plants and collected by bees and other animals
(classical myth) the drink of the gods Compare ambrosia (sense 1)
any delicious drink, esp a sweet one
something very pleasant or welcome: your words are nectar to me
(mainly US)
  1. the undiluted juice of a fruit
  2. a mixture of fruit juices
Derived Forms
nectareous (nɛkˈtɛərɪəs), nectarous, adjective
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek néktar, perhaps nek- death (related to nekros corpse) + -tar, related to Sanskrit tarati he overcomes; compare Latin nex death and trans across
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 nectar

1550s, from Latin nectar, from Greek nektar, name of the drink of the gods, which is said to be a compound of nek- "death" (see necro-) + -tar "overcoming," from PIE *tere- "to cross over, pass through, overcome." Meaning "sweet liquid in flowers" first recorded c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nectar in Science
A sweet liquid secreted by plants as food to attract animals that will benefit them. Many flowers produce nectar to attract pollinating insects, birds, and bats. Bees collect nectar to make into honey. Nectar is produced in structures called nectaries. Some plants have nectaries located elsewhere, outside the flower. These provide a food source for animals such as ants which in turn defend the plant from harmful insects. Nectar consists primarily of water and varying concentrations of many different sugars, including fructose, glucose, and sucrose.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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