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 Talk about simple: Ellie Krieger’s pineapple drizzled with a spiced honey is a perfect way to brighten a wintry meal. The Washington Post, "Free Range on Food: Caring for your cast iron, picky eaters, vitamins, breakfast sausage, this week's recipes and more!," 29 Jan. 2020 Getty Images Mead’s foundation in honey perpetuates the inaccurate perception that meads are too sweet and too thick, or only drinkable in the winter or around a fire. Shawndra Russell, Fortune, "Mead Could Be the Next Big Craft Beverage," 22 Dec. 2019 He is said to have ordered Mariamne’s body to be embalmed in honey to preserve her beauty; then, sickened by his guilt, Herod retreated to the desert. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Mariamne I," 18 Dec. 2019 Even in the apocalypse, honey, when there aren’t exactly bags of hair readily available for purchase at the fallout shelter. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, "The best wig reveals of 2019 so far," 24 June 2019 Whisk in honey to dissolve, then stir in ginger and fennel seeds. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Orange-Ginger Roast Chicken with Fennel and Radicchio Salad," 27 Nov. 2018 The Wendy's menu includes a honey butter chicken biscuit and maple bacon chicken croissant. Danielle Wiener-bronner, CNN, "McDonald's is fighting the breakfast war with chicken sandwiches," 28 Jan. 2020 There will be local vendors and artisans selling honey, cheese, fresh eggs, seasonal vegetables and more. Houston Chronicle, "Katy-area calendar of events," 27 Jan. 2020 Carolina shrimp are poached for cocktail and seared to top grits from Geechie Boy, a renowned mill in South Carolina; those grits are also used to make hush puppies, served with honey butter. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, "In Cobble Hill, the HiHi Room Stands Alone," 10 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Honey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honey?show=0&t=1391486925. Accessed 20 Feb. 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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