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 honied (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 Grill pineapple or other fruits and drizzle with honey. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Overcome the coronavirus meat shortage by adopting one of the world's healthiest diets," 20 May 2020 Transfer salmon to plates and drizzle with remaining honey. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Hot Honey-Roasted Salmon and Radishes," 30 Apr. 2020 The only thing better than topping a toasty potato with a pat of butter? Spiking that butter with hot honey, Calabrian chiles, harissa and fresh mint, or perhaps an ultra-savory mashup of lime juice, tahini, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, "5 Ways to Zhuzh Up the Sweet Potatoes in Your Pantry," 3 Apr. 2020 There’s tea offered every day, $2 a cup, to be sipped at one of the store’s tables or taken to go in a plastic coffee cup, with honey or raw sugar to sweeten it. John Carlisle, Detroit Free Press, "Herbal remedies, alternative medicines are keeping Detroit store busier than ever," 31 Mar. 2020 This creamy balm contains 20% shea butter, along with honey, almond extracts and coconut oil. cleveland, "Dry, cracked hands from all the washing, antibacterial gel? Try these 16 highly-rated lotions," 27 Mar. 2020 The mob cut off his right hand and smeared him with honey to attract bees to sting him before scattering his ashes over what is now the project's grounds. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "We are so on board for Jordan Peele’s clever reinvention of Candyman," 27 Feb. 2020 Combine the honey, apple cider, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Kathryn Gregory, The Courier-Journal, "Feel like getting fancy in the kitchen? Try 3 decadent entrees from Louisville restaurants," 6 May 2020 The farm market also sells some of the honey each year. cleveland, "Area orchards spring into action to ensure summer fruit, fall favorites," 30 Apr. 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

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Honey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honey. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on honey

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for honey

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with honey

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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