nut·meg | \ˈnət-ˌmeg, -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

Back-heel nutmeg FTW Ibson's game-winning goal for Minnesota United against the Houston Dynamo is hard to appreciate at full speed. Avi Creditor,, "The MLS XI, Week 9: LAFC Comes Home; Toronto FC Nurses Its CCL Hangover," 30 Apr. 2018 In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting," 19 Jan. 2018 For the past 60 years, Italians have scrubbed away their espresso stains with Marvis, which is known for its exotic flavors including licorice, mango, and nutmeg. Nick Marino, GQ, "The Best European Toothpastes Will Give Your Teeth a Vacation," 15 June 2018 The only flavors are vanilla and nutmeg. Bake this for a rehearsal dinner and serve with bowls of berries and whipped cream. Lisa Yockelson,, "Recipe: Bake this luxurious Bundt cake for a rehearsal dinner and add berries and cream," 4 June 2018 Gently stir in the crème fraîche, milk, pepper, and nutmeg; avoid beating too much air into the mixture, or the filling will puff up and then crack once baked. Karen Lubeck, Town & Country, "Clotilde Dusoulier’s Fifth Cookbook Brings Parisian Flavors to Your Kitchen," 22 May 2018 The Painkiller Makes 1 cocktail 2 ounces dark rum 4 ounces pineapple juice 1 ounce cream of coconut 1 ounce orange juice Nutmeg for garnish Pour all ingredients except nutmeg into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Jan Uebelherr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Taxes filed? Celebrate (or commiserate) with a party," 14 Apr. 2018 Perhaps inspired by the ongoing World Cup in Russia, Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer decided to nutmeg Boston’s Sandy Leon with a filthy slider on Monday. Nick Schwartz, For The Win, "Red Sox batter strikes out on a pitch that went through his legs," 3 July 2018 Filling: Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a very large bowl. Allison Tyler, Woman's Day, "Sour Cream Apple-Walnut Pie," 1 Jan. 2012

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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Statistics for nutmeg

Last Updated

20 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for nutmeg

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

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More Definitions for nutmeg



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 \

Kids Definition of nutmeg

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


nut·meg | \ˈnət-ˌmeg, -ˌmāg \

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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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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