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 Sweet honey, apple and a touch of cinnamon bring major fall vibes to this cozy, saucy dish. Kari Sonde, Washington Post, "Go thigh high with 8 weeknight-friendly chicken dinners," 12 Sep. 2019 Shop for honey, flowers, cheese, vegetables and other goods from local vendors and farmers at the last market of the season. Samantha Nelson, chicagotribune.com, "Free things to do in Chicago this week: Hispanic Heritage Month kickoff, Water Tower 150th celebration," 11 Sep. 2019 Combine the olive oil, honey, garlic, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes and salt in a large mixing bowl. ExpressNews.com, "Recipe: Sheet Pan Quail and Brussels Sprouts," 11 Sep. 2019 Claisom wants to challenge this notion and dispel people’s negative perception of insects—in particular, non-honey producing bees—by creating a children’s storybook. National Geographic, "Meet Our 2018 Grant Winners!," 10 Sep. 2019 Instead, the staff treated the sloth with honey, coconut oil and Neosporin. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Misdemeanor animal cruelty case involving SeaQuest sloth named Flash on tap in Jefferson County," 30 Aug. 2019 While spices are cooling, in small bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Steak with Grilled Green Beans, Fennel & Farro," 9 Aug. 2019 Traditional mead takes three ingredients to make: honey, water and yeast. Jasmine Johnson, Twin Cities, "Making honey wine: Commercial meadery opens in Gem Lake," 30 July 2019 The recipes that follow include harissa, honey, burrata, jalapeños, onions and scallops. Dallas News, "Texas peaches are here! Try these 4 simple summer recipes," 20 July 2019 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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Statistics for honey

Last Updated

29 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for honey

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

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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

Comments on honey

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an agreement to stop fighting a war

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