hon·​ey | \ ˈhə-nē How to pronounce honey (audio) \
plural honeys

Definition of honey

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a sweet viscid material elaborated out of the nectar of flowers in the honey sac of various bees
b : a sweet fluid resembling honey that is collected or elaborated by various insects
2a : a loved one : sweetheart, dear
b : a superlative example
3 : the quality or state of being sweet : sweetness
4 : an attractive woman


honeyed also honied\ ˈhə-​nēd How to pronounce honey (audio) \; honeying

Definition of honey (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to sweeten with or as if with honey
2 : to speak ingratiatingly to : flatter

intransitive verb

: to use blandishments or cajolery



Definition of honey (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or resembling honey
2 : much loved : dear

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Examples of honey in a Sentence

Noun She likes honey in her tea. Your car is a real honey. Verb she knew that the hairstylist was honeying her for a reason—the expectation of a generous tip
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This flat white, which debuted in January 2020, returns and pairs almondmilk and Starbucks Blonde espresso with honey. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Starbucks releases winter menu with new Pistachio Latte, Honey Almondmilk Cold Brew, Red Velvet Loaf and more," 5 Jan. 2021 Whisk 1 large egg white with 4 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon water and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt together in a medium bowl. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "Rancho Loma expands: How a self-taught chef is building a low-key restaurant empire in West Texas," 21 Dec. 2020 The chaplain recited the proverb about catching more flies with honey than vinegar. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Walter E. Williams Rejected Conventional Cures for Poverty," 11 Dec. 2020 My favorite way to eat homemade ricotta is to spread it on a slice of crusty bread, drizzle it with honey and grate some black pepper on top. Washington Post, "How to make creamy ricotta at home in just 30 minutes," 7 Dec. 2020 Some high fructose foods (like toast with honey) can also help speed up alcohol metabolism if there is any residual alcohol in your system, adds John Brick, PhD, an alcohol research scientist and author of The Doctor’s Hangover Handbook. Hannah Jeon, Good Housekeeping, "7 Best Hangover Cures to Get You Through the Morning, According to Experts," 2 Nov. 2020 Its Hopslam, a seasonal Double IPA brewed with honey, checked in at No. 5 on the Top 10 beers list. Brian Manzullo, Detroit Free Press, "Bell's Two Hearted Ale once again named best beer in America," 23 Oct. 2020 Cocoa Puffs with a more chocolatey tase; Trix with its original fruity shapes; Cookie Crisp with more of a chocolate chip taste; and Golden Grahams made with honey. Christy Piña, Woman's Day, "Mario Lopez and His Family Have Managed to Stay Busy During Quarantine," 24 Sep. 2020 Glazed with butter and Cornman Farms honey, the boneless hams are fully cooked, ready-to-eat or warmed. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Restaurants are pulling out the stops with holiday meals to-go," 21 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Talley is not exactly honey-colored, but choosing a euphemistic description for the color of black skin has long been a way to make blackness less black to white people. New York Times, "Anna Wintour Is Not the Star of André Leon Talley’s Memoir. He Is.," 15 May 2020 Her naturally jet-black hair colour appears to be dyed a soft, honey blonde in the clip. Aimee Simeon, refinery29.com, "Kylie Jenner Shows Off Her Real Hair — & It Looks So Different," 2 Apr. 2020 Laura Dern’s oh, honey nonverbal reaction to that line, which is tapped visually into place perfectly by the editor Jennifer Lame, becomes one of a hundred character details to savor here. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "‘Marriage Story’ review: Divorce, American style, showcasing Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in one of the year’s finest achievements," 12 Nov. 2019 To make the honey magic: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the dulce de leche, ½ cup burned honey and salt until well combined. Tara Duggan, SFChronicle.com, "Recipe: How to make 20th Century Cafe’s Russian Honey Cake," 20 Sep. 2019 Earthworks Farm will be at all three markets with honey crafted on the Valley Farm and plenty of their Abeille Alaska beeswax and honey body care products and soaps. Steve Edwards, Anchorage Daily News, "Get your fish fix at Anchorage farmers markets this week," 24 Jan. 2018 Daddy: That grass isn't going to cut itself, honey bunch! Southern Living, "Mama's Spring To-Do Lists," 3 Apr. 2017 Daddy: That grass isn't going to cut itself, honey bunch! Southern Living, "Mama's Spring To-Do Lists," 1 May 2017

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

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First Known Use of honey


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for honey


Middle English hony, from Old English hunig; akin to Old High German honag honey, and probably to Sanskrit kāñcana gold, Latin canicae bran

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Time Traveler for honey

Time Traveler

The first known use of honey was before the 12th century

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Statistics for honey

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Honey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honey. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for honey


How to pronounce honey (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of honey

: a thick, sweet substance made by bees
informal used to address someone you love
chiefly US, informal : something that is very good


hon·​ey | \ ˈhə-nē How to pronounce honey (audio) \

Kids Definition of honey

1 : a sweet sticky material made by bees from the nectar of flowers and stored by them in a honeycomb for food


hon·​ey | \ ˈhən-ē How to pronounce honey (audio) \
plural honeys

Medical Definition of honey

1 : a sweet viscid material elaborated out of the nectar of flowers in the honey sac of various bees
2 : any of various preparations consisting of simple mixtures of medicaments with honey

Other Words from honey

honey adjective

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Comments on honey

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