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

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 Its also great to grate fresh nutmeg, hard cheeses and fresh ginger. cleveland, 26 May 2022 Woody and mossy notes unfold to aromatic nutmeg, vetiver, and subtle hints of saffron. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 May 2022 Count out 10 cloves, 10 cardamom pods, 2 large cinnamon sticks, and 1 nutmeg. Bon Appétit, 3 Mar. 2022 Garnish with lemon wheels, cinnamon sticks and grated nutmeg on top of the punch. Amber Love Bond, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2021 Most blends include African nutmeg, castor seed, orima, jansa and beletete leaves. Jen Rose Smith, CNN, 5 Jan. 2022 Slowly add the flour and nutmeg and whisk until there are no lumps. Aly Walansky, Forbes, 21 Dec. 2021 Hot Toddy's are traditionally made with lemon, demerara sugar, your favorite scotch whiskey and fresh nutmeg, according to Food Network's recipe. Gabriela Miranda, USA TODAY, 18 Dec. 2021 Christmas Ale is made with local honey and some nutmeg and ginger, Ryan Sacha tells us. Marc Bona, cleveland, 9 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best cookware sets.

Learn More About nutmeg

Time Traveler for nutmeg

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About nutmeg

Dictionary Entries Near nutmeg



nutmeg apple

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for nutmeg

Last Updated

2 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nutmeg.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for nutmeg


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

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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