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nutmeg

[nuht-meg]
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noun
  1. the hard, aromatic seed of the fruit of an East Indian tree, Myristica fragrans, used in grated form as a spice.
  2. the similar product of certain other trees of the same genus or other genera.
  3. a tree bearing such seeds.

Origin of nutmeg

1300–50; Middle English notemug(g)e, perhaps back formation from *notemugede (-ede being taken as -ed3), equivalent to note nut + mugede < Old French < Late Latin muscāta musky; see musk, -ate1
Related formsnut·megged, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for nutmeg

nutmeg

noun
  1. an East Indian evergreen tree, Myristica fragrans, cultivated in the tropics for its hard aromatic seed: family MyristicaceaeSee also mace 2
  2. the seed of this tree, used as a spice
  3. any of several similar trees or their fruit
  4. a greyish-brown colour
verb -megs, -megging or -megged (tr)
  1. British sport informal to kick or hit the ball between the legs of (an opposing player)

Word Origin

C13: from Old French nois muguede, from Old Provençal noz muscada musk-scented nut, from Latin nux nut + muscus musk
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 nutmeg

n.

"hard aromatic seed of the East Indies," c.1300, from Old North French or Anglo-French *noiz mugue, from Old French nois muguete, unexplained alteration of nois muscade "nut smelling like musk," from nois "nut" (from Latin nux) + Latin muscada, fem. of muscat "musky" (see muscat). Probably influenced in English by Medieval Latin nux maga (cf. unaltered Dutch muskaatnoot, German muscatnuß, Swedish muskotnöt).

American English colloquial wooden nutmeg "anything false or fraudulent" is from 1830. Connecticut is called the Nutmeg State "in allusion to the story that wooden nutmegs are there manufactured for exportation." [John Russell Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1859]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper