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 formshon·ey·ful, adjectivehon·ey·less, adjectivehon·ey·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for honey

Contemporary Examples of honey

Historical Examples of honey

  • 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 and Canadian a term of endearment
informal, mainly US and Canadian something considered to be very good of its kinda honey of a car
(modifier) of, concerned with, or resembling honey

verb honeys, honeying, honeyed or honied

(tr) to sweeten with or as if with honey
(often foll by up) to talk to (someone) in a fond or flattering way
Derived Formshoney-like, adjective

Word Origin for honey

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

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