nec·tar | \ ˈnek-tər \

Definition of nectar 

1a : the drink of the Greek and Roman gods

b : something delicious to drink

c : a beverage of fruit juice and pulp apricot nectar

2 : a sweet liquid that is secreted by the nectaries of a plant and is the chief raw material of honey

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from nectar

nectarous \ˈnek-t(ə-)rəs \ adjective

Did You Know?

Nectar is often mentioned in conjunction with ambrosia, the food of the Greek and Roman gods. For centuries, English speakers have used ambrosia to refer to something with an extremely pleasing taste or smell and nectar to refer to a delicious drink, especially a fruit juice. To the ancient Greeks and Romans, however, the powers of nectar and ambrosia far exceeded those of any earthly fare; consuming nectar and ambrosia gave the gods their immortality. In Greek, the literal meanings of ambrosia and nektar are "immortality" and "overcoming death" respectively. Nektar is believed to be a compound of Greek nek- (probably akin to Latin nec-, meaning "death") and -tar (probably akin to Sanksrit tarati, meaning "he overcomes or crosses over").

Examples of nectar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Make dressing: In bowl of a food processor, combine garlic, ginger, nut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, agave nectar and sesame oil. Terri Milligan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Keep your cool: No-heat cooking keeps you comfortable and the food fresh," 5 July 2018 The country’s hot spot for commercial beekeeping is the Northern Great Plains of the Dakotas and neighboring areas, where more 1 million colonies spend their summer feasting on pollen and nectar from nearby wildflowers and other plants. Seth Borenstein, The Seattle Times, "Honeybees finding it harder to eat at America’s bee hot spot," 2 July 2018 The weekly checks included counting the number of bees in the colony, noting whether the queen was alive, dead or absent, and recording the amount of pollen and nectar in the nest. Deborah Netburn,, "Struggling bumblebees can thrive in an unlikely place: The city," 27 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 Purée hulled strawberries, mint leaves, lime juice, agave nectar, rose water (if using), and 2 cups cold water in a blender until smooth. Claire Saffitz, Bon Appetit, "Strawberry-Rose Agua Fresca," 28 May 2018 Zinnias are favorite nectar sources for hummingbirds and butterflies. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "The plants that will attract fall hummingbirds, butterflies," 13 July 2018 Scientists can even train bees to stick out their tongues after smelling new scents associated with a nectar or sugar reward, meaning the bees learn that a new smell will provide them with food. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "‘Safe’ Levels of Pesticide Still Hamper Bees’ Memory and Ability to Learn," 12 July 2018 Beer is not supposed to be nectar for the upper middle class, or for high-living millennials who can’t pay the rent after paying $35 for six bottles of some Dogfish Head experiment. Paul Daugherty,, "Paul Daugherty's Morning Line: Cincinnati Reds need the off day, and other MLB thoughts," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nectar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of nectar

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for nectar

Latin, from Greek nektar

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nectar

Listen to Our Podcast about nectar

Dictionary Entries near nectar





nectar bird



Statistics for nectar

Last Updated

6 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nectar

The first known use of nectar was in 1555

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nectar



English Language Learners Definition of nectar

: the drink that the Greek and Roman gods drank

: a thick juice made from a particular fruit

: a sweet liquid produced by plants and used by bees in making honey


nec·tar | \ ˈnek-tər \

Kids Definition of nectar

: a sweet liquid produced by plants and used by bees in making honey

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on nectar

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


alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!