nut·​meg | \ ˈnət-ˌmeg How to pronounce nutmeg (audio) , -ˌmāg \

Definition of nutmeg

1 : an aromatic seed produced by an evergreen tree (Myristica fragrans of the family Myristicaceae, the nutmeg family) native to the Moluccas also : the ground seed used as a spice — compare mace sense 2
2 : a tree yielding nutmeg

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Did You Know?

Nutmeg is native to the Moluccas, Indonesian islands in the Malay Archipelago of Southeast Asia. The word nutmeg, however, comes from Old Occitan, a Romance language spoken in southern France during the latter half of the Middle Ages. Old Occitan "noz muscada" combines "noz" ("nut"), from Latin nuc-, nux, with "muscada," a feminine form of muscat, meaning "musky." The history of "muscat" can in turn be traced back through Late Latin, Greek, and Middle Persian to a Sanskrit word meaning "mouse."

Examples of nutmeg in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Rum and brandy are tasty as always, and fresh nutmeg never hurts. Rick Nelson, Star Tribune, "5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities this week," 18 Dec. 2020 The Brazilian spun brilliantly after receiving the ball from Marco Veratti and produced a delightful nutmeg on Carlos Ponck, before curling the ball past Gunok into the top corner. Matias Grez, CNN, "Champions League match resumes with powerful show of solidarity from PSG, Istanbul Basaksehir and officials," 9 Dec. 2020 When soup is ready, add the nutmeg and salt to taste. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Warm up with this quick butternut squash soup," 2 Dec. 2020 Add sage, savory, marjoram, thyme and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Rick Nelson, Star Tribune, "Here's a stuffing recipe that you'll be making for many Thanksgiving dinners to come," 18 Nov. 2020 Jaroslaw Niezgoda makes a great move with a nutmeg to set up a bit of a break and strong chance. oregonlive, "Portland Timbers hold on to beat Philadelphia Union, advance to MLS is Back final: Live updates recap," 5 Aug. 2020 Whole nutmeg can usually be found in the spice aisle next to the pre-ground options. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Pumpkin Pie Spice," 28 July 2020 Our herbed tomato tart mixes juicy cherry tomatoes with anchovies and tops it with parsley, chives, oregano, and nutmeg. Saveur, "Savory Tarts," 15 May 2020 Adding warm milk will turn the roux to a béchamel, which when combined with white cheese and nutmeg makes for a delicious sauce for pasta. Rebecca White, Dallas News, "8 essential cooking skills to learn while still stuck at home," 4 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nutmeg.' 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 nutmeg

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nutmeg

Middle English notemigge, notemuge, ultimately from Old Occitan noz muscada, from noz nut (from Latin nuc-, nux) + muscada, feminine of muscat musky — more at muscat

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Time Traveler for nutmeg

Time Traveler

The first known use of nutmeg was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

22 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nutmeg.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for nutmeg


How to pronounce nutmeg (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nutmeg

: a spice made from the hard seed of a tropical tree and used in cooking and baking


nut·​meg | \ ˈnət-ˌmeg How to pronounce nutmeg (audio) \

Kids Definition of nutmeg

: a spice made from the ground seeds of a small tropical evergreen tree


nut·​meg | \ ˈnət-ˌmeg, -ˌmāg How to pronounce nutmeg (audio) \

Medical Definition of nutmeg

1 : an aromatic seed that is used as a spice and is produced by a tree of the genus Myristica (M. fragrans of the family Myristicaceae, the nutmeg family) native to the Moluccas

called also myristica

2 : a tree that produces nutmegs

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More from Merriam-Webster on nutmeg

Nglish: Translation of nutmeg for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nutmeg for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about nutmeg

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