ambrosia

noun am·bro·sia \ am-ˈbrō-zh(ē-)ə \

Definition of ambrosia

1 a :the food of the Greek and Roman gods
b :the ointment or perfume of the gods
2 :something extremely pleasing to taste or smell
3 :a dessert made of oranges and shredded coconut

ambrosial

play \am-ˈbrō-zh(ē-)əl\ adjective

ambrosially

play \-zh(ē-)ə-lē\ adverb

ambrosia was our Word of the Day on 06/10/2014. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of ambrosia from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ambrosia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Ambrosia literally means "immortality" in Greek; it is derived from the Greek word ambrotos ("immortal"), which combines the prefix a- (meaning "not") with mbrotos ("mortal"). In Greek and Roman mythology, only the immortals-gods and goddesses-could eat ambrosia. Those mythological gods and goddesses also drank nectar, the original sense of which refers to the "drink of the gods." Nectar (in Greek, nektar) may have implied immortality as well; nektar is believed to have carried the literal meaning "overcoming death." While the ambrosia of the gods implied immortality, we mere mortals use ambrosia in reference to things that just taste or smell especially delicious. Similarly, nectar can now simply mean "something delicious to drink."

Origin and Etymology of ambrosia

Latin, from Greek, literally, immortality, from ambrotos immortal, from a- + -mbrotos (akin to brotos mortal) — more at murder

Other Mythology and Folklore Terms


Medical Dictionary

Ambrosia

noun Am·bro·sia \ am-ˈbrō-zh(ē-)ə \

medical Definition of Ambrosia

:a genus of mostly American composite herbs that includes the ragweeds

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up ambrosia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to speak evil of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Forms of Government Quiz

  • knupfer-painting-solon-before-croesus
  • A gerontocracy is rule by:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!