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 The other psychoactive substances assessed included: hallucinogenic mushrooms; anticholinergic plants such as Jimsonweed and Angel's trumpet; nutmeg; kava kava; and the dietary supplement kratom. Nadia Kounang, CNN, "Calls to Poison Control for psychoactive drug exposure on the rise," 26 Nov. 2019 While the majority of the cocktail menu mirrors the one downtown, one new libation is the Snowed In, a blend of cold brew from Birmingham’s Domestique Coffee, Jameson Irish Whiskey, amaretto, black walnut bitters, J.T. Bitters, and nutmeg. Shauna Stuart |, al, "The Mountain Brook location of Carrigan’s is ready. Here’s what’s new," 25 Nov. 2019 Transfer the potato to a large bowl and add the maple syrup, milk, egg, butter, vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon each nutmeg and salt. Ellie Krieger, Washington Post, "These luscious dessert cups combine sweet potato and pecan pies, with no need for a crust," 21 Nov. 2019 Simple ingredients — butter, sugar, cream and nutmeg — have earned this pie kudos from Oprah, People and Country Living magazines. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "A dozen of the best Thanksgiving pies you can buy around Indianapolis," 18 Nov. 2019 Turn a festive winter sipper into a decadent dessert, flavored with cloves, spiced rum, and nutmeg. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Eggnog Pudding," 14 Nov. 2019 Teagiving is definitely the flavor of the season with a potent punch of clove, nutmeg and cinnamon over a smooth darjeeling base. Paul Stephen,, "San Antonio tea company Armchair Anthropologist Tea Co. has the hot cup of tea you need this winter," 13 Nov. 2019 In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Addie Broyles,, "Try these pumpkin pancakes this fall," 14 Oct. 2019 Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg and 1 1/4 cups cheese. Nancy Fuller, Country Living, "Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin," 10 Oct. 2019

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

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

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Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Nutmeg.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nutmeg

Spanish Central: Translation of nutmeg

Nglish: Translation of nutmeg for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on nutmeg

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


heavy with or as if with moisture

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