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

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 Even today, modern hunter-gatherers, who lack money, still trade—Hadzabe hunters exchange honey for iron arrowheads made by neighboring tribes, for example. Nicholas R. Longrich, Quartz, 6 Jan. 2022 Goode Company’s covered patio and backyard offers heaters, comfy seating and after-work drinks such as the Fool’s Gold—a winter muddle of Bourbon, lemon, chile and honey. Robin Soslow, Chron, 5 Jan. 2022 Taste and add more salt and sugar or honey, if needed. Washington Post, 4 Jan. 2022 The whisky offers up the trademark GlenAllachie notes of raisin, figs and raisin, along with dark chocolate, coffee, almond and honey. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2021 The protein comes from egg and milk rather than whey, and honey provides just the right sweetness. Nikki Campo, Bon Appétit, 23 Dec. 2021 Add lemon juice, honey/ginger and whiskey to the smaller vessel and stir to gently heat it for about one or two minutes, before pouring it into your pre-warmed mug and topping with boiling water. Jason O'bryan, Robb Report, 22 Dec. 2021 One hour into simmering, add the soy sauce, sherry and honey. Jamie Feldmar, New York Times, 22 Dec. 2021 Look over the appealing menu: Biscuits and gravy get a hot-honey drizzle; slivers of watermelon radish garnish the avocado toast. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 21 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Hard to believe that her hair could have gone from iced espresso to honey in such a short time. Elizabeth Loga, Glamour, 2 Aug. 2021 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, 15 May 2020 Her naturally jet-black hair colour appears to be dyed a soft, honey blonde in the clip. Aimee Simeon, refinery29.com, 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, 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, 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, 24 Jan. 2018 Daddy: That grass isn't going to cut itself, honey bunch! Southern Living, 3 Apr. 2017 Daddy: That grass isn't going to cut itself, honey bunch! Southern Living, 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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near honey



honey agaric

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Statistics for honey

Last Updated

12 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Honey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honey. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for honey



English Language Learners Definition of honey

: a thick, sweet substance made by bees
used to address someone you love
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on honey

Nglish: Translation of honey for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of honey for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about honey


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