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  1. a structure of rows of hexagonal wax cells, formed by bees in their hive for the storage of honey, pollen, and their eggs.
  2. a piece of this containing honey and chewed as a sweet.
  3. anything whose appearance suggests such a structure, especially in containing many small units or holes: The building was a honeycomb of offices and showrooms.
  4. the reticulum of a ruminant.
  5. Textiles.
    1. Also called waffle cloth.a fabric with an embossed surface woven in a pattern resembling a honeycomb.
    2. the characteristic weave of such a fabric.
  1. having the structure or appearance of a honeycomb.
verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to be full of holes; pierce with many holes or cavities: an old log honeycombed with ant burrows.
  2. to penetrate in all parts: a city honeycombed with vice.

Origin of honeycomb

before 1050; Middle English huny-comb, Old English hunigcamb. See honey, comb1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of honeycomb

British Dictionary definitions for honeycomb


  1. a waxy structure, constructed by bees in a hive, that consists of adjacent hexagonal cells in which honey is stored, eggs are laid, and larvae develop
  2. something resembling this in structure or appearance
  3. zoology another name for reticulum (def. 2)
verb (tr)
  1. to pierce or fill with holes, cavities, etc
  2. to permeatehoneycombed with spies
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 honeycomb

Old English hunigcamb; see honey (n.) + comb (n). Probably the image is from wool combing. Transferred use, of structures of similar appearance, from 1520s. As a verb, from 1620s (implied in honeycombed).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper