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honey

[huhn-ee]
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noun, plural hon·eys.
  1. a sweet, viscid fluid produced by bees from the nectar collected from flowers, and stored in nests or hives as food.
  2. this substance as used in cooking or as a spread or sweetener.
  3. the nectar of flowers.
  4. any of various similarly sweet, viscid products produced by insects or in other ways.
  5. something sweet, delicious, or delightful: the honey of flattery.
  6. Informal. a person for whom one feels love or deep affection; sweetheart; darling.
  7. (sometimes initial capital letter) an affectionate or familiar term of address, as to a child or romantic partner (sometimes offensive when used to strangers, casual acquaintances, subordinates, etc., especially by a male to a female).
  8. Informal. something of especially high quality, degree of excellence, etc.: That's a honey of a computer.
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adjective
  1. of, like, or pertaining to honey; sweet.
  2. containing honey or flavored or sweetened with honey.
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verb (used with object), hon·eyed or hon·ied, hon·ey·ing.
  1. Informal. to talk flatteringly or endearingly to (often followed by up).
  2. to sweeten or flavor with or as if with honey.
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verb (used without object), hon·eyed or hon·ied, hon·ey·ing.
  1. Informal. to use flattery, endearing terms, etc., in an effort to obtain something (often followed by up): They always got what they wanted by honeying up to their grandfather.
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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. 2018

Related Words

sweetheartnectarsweetdeardarlingflatterydearydeariealveolusprecioushalvah

Examples from the Web for honey

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • What mattered it that the honey of it was as ashes in her mouth?

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • "It's not the least mite I'm blaming you, honey," said Katy.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • We shall find flowers as large as trees, fruits sweeter than honey.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • 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

honey

noun
  1. 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
  2. any similar sweet substance, esp the nectar of flowers
  3. anything that is sweet or delightful
  4. (often capital) mainly US and Canadian a term of endearment
  5. informal, mainly US and Canadian something considered to be very good of its kinda honey of a car
  6. (modifier) of, concerned with, or resembling honey
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verb honeys, honeying, honeyed or honied
  1. (tr) to sweeten with or as if with honey
  2. (often foll by up) to talk to (someone) in a fond or flattering way
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Derived Formshoney-like, adjective

Word Origin

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

n.

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.

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v.

mid-14c., from honey (n.). Related: Honeyed; honeying.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper