nut·​meg ˈnət-ˌmeg How to pronounce nutmeg (audio)
: 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
: a tree yielding nutmeg

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 The apricot color set is up to $35 off, while some of the 20 other color options, including black, white, and nutmeg, are also available for less right now. Alyssa Grabinski, Peoplemag, 8 Feb. 2024 Basically everything in your spice cabinet that smells like fall: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and sometimes even allspice. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 4 Nov. 2023 Warm and spicy cinnamon is the perfect complement to sugar, chocolate, and other cozy flavors, such as nutmeg and cloves. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Jan. 2024 Hot Buttered Cider For a slightly richer option that will keep you warm in the winter, try this buttery apple cider infused with ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Anna Luisa Rodriguez, Washington Post, 3 Jan. 2024 Mix egg filling: Whisk together beaten eggs, whipping cream, half-and-half, flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 28 Nov. 2023 With no building higher than a palm tree, the completely sustainable resort aims to resemble a Caribbean village, connected by pathways made of nutmeg shells and cocoa skin. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 27 Dec. 2023 For an extra holiday touch, serve in mugs garnished with a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon. Jessica Chapel, Condé Nast Traveler, 1 Dec. 2023 Chinese five-spice and Sichuan pepper are added to the mix with nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger for the pumpkin pie filling. Betty Hallock, Los Angeles Times, 12 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nutmeg.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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


Dictionary Entries Near nutmeg

Cite this Entry

“Nutmeg.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


nut·​meg ˈnət-ˌmeg How to pronounce nutmeg (audio)
: a spice that consists of the ground seeds of a small tropical evergreen tree grown especially in Indonesia
also : the seed or tree

Medical Definition


: 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

: a tree that produces nutmegs

More from Merriam-Webster on nutmeg

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