hon·ey | \ ˈhə-nē \
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 \; 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


She likes honey in her tea. Your car is a real honey.


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

Relying solely on her own research and aesthetic instincts, Trump crafted a cream and gold color scheme, with details spanning the patterns on the chair cushions to the honey with dessert made by bees in the White House hive. Betsy Klein And Kate Bennett, CNN, "Melania Trump masters the moment," 24 Apr. 2018 There is nothing more pure than to harvest honey from the hive and use the fresh but complicated ingredient in a daily special. Discover Magazine, "One-on-One with Executive Chef Kevin Erving," 6 July 2018 Strawberries, dried fruit, a squeeze of honey or agave syrup can help add pleasant sweet notes to your greens. Natalie B. Compton, GQ, "How to Make Your Store-Bought Lunch Salad a Little Less Depressing," 19 June 2018 Drizzle balsamic vinegar and the honey all over, making sure each fig gets a little splash. Daniel Neman, sacbee, "Main dishes? Fruit is not forbidden," 26 June 2018 Use the back of a spoon to gently smash and muddle the blueberries with the honey and lemon juice. Blake Bakkila, Health.com, "3 Easy Summer Campfire Recipes Your Entire Family Will Enjoy," 22 June 2018 Plans are to sell the honey the tiny Italians produce to raise funds for the school. Graydon Megan, chicagotribune.com, "Elmhurst College groundskeeper shows some of the 900 trees making up the campus' certified arboretum," 17 June 2018 The honey has become a staple at Bay Area farmers’ markets and on retail shelves. Sarah Fritsche, SFChronicle.com, "Pioneering Marshall’s Farm looking to pass on legacy of natural honey in Bay Area," 12 June 2018 This season the honey is from Kaiteriteri on the South Island, where bees collect nectar from the local kāmahi trees. Rachel Marlowe, Vogue, "This All-Green Apothecary in New Zealand Is Worth a Trek Across the Globe," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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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Learn More about honey

Phrases Related to honey

land of milk and honey

Statistics for honey

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for honey

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

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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 \

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 \
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

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


the setting in which something occurs

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