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  1. Classical Mythology. the food of the gods.Compare nectar(def 3).
  2. something especially delicious to taste or smell.
  3. a fruit dessert made of oranges and shredded coconut and sometimes pineapple.
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Origin of ambrosia

1545–55; < Latin < Greek: immortality, food of the gods, noun use of feminine of ambrósios, equivalent to a- a-6 + -mbros- (combining form of brotōs mortal; akin to Latin mortuus dead, murder) + -ios adj. suffix; replacing Middle English ambrose, ambrosie < Old French ambroise < Latin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for ambrosia


  1. classical myth the food of the gods, said to bestow immortalityCompare nectar (def. 2)
  2. anything particularly delightful to taste or smell
  3. another name for beebread
  4. any of various herbaceous plants constituting the genus Ambrosia, mostly native to America but widely naturalized: family Asteraceae (composites). The genus includes the ragweeds
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Derived Formsambrosial or ambrosian, adjectiveambrosially, adverb

Word Origin

C16: via Latin from Greek: immortality, from ambrotos, from a- 1 + brotos mortal
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 ambrosia


1550s, "favored food or drink of the gods," from Latin ambrosia, from Greek ambrosia "food of the gods," fem. of ambrosios, probably literally "of the immortals," from a- "not" (see a- (3)) + mbrotos, related to mortos "mortal," from PIE *mer- "to die" (see mortal (adj.)). Applied to certain herbs by Pliny and Dioscorides; used of various foods for mortals since 1680s (originally of fruit drinks); used figuratively for "anything delightful" by 1731.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ambrosia in Culture



The food of the gods in classical mythology. Those who ate it became immortal.

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Particularly delicious food is sometimes called “ambrosia.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.