From Middle English hony, honi, from Old English huniġ, from Proto-West Germanic *hunag, from Proto-Germanic *hunagą (compare West Frisian hunich, German Honig), from earlier *hunangą (compare Swedish honung), from Proto-Indo-European *kn̥h₂onk-o-s, from *kn̥h₂ónks.
Cognate with Middle Welsh canecon (“gold”), Latin canicae pl (“bran”), Tocharian B kronkśe (“bee”), Albanian qengjë (“beehive”), Ancient Greek κνῆκος (knêkos, “safflower”), Northern Kurdish şan (“beehive”), Northern Luri گونج (gonj, “Bee”).
- (uncountable) A viscous, sweet fluid produced from plant nectar by bees. Often used to sweeten tea or to spread on baked goods.
- The honey in the pot should last for years.
- (countable) A variety of this substance.
- 1908, United States. Bureau of Chemistry, Bulletin, number 110-114:
- The physical properties of the different honeys, color, granulation, aroma, flavor, etc., are indicated in the table only in a very general way.
- 1949, Roy A. Grout, editor, The Hive and the Honey Bee:
- If two of the California honeys, western hyssop and fleabane, having a positive polarization at 200 C. are disregarded, then the remaining...
- 2011, Stephen Taylor, Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, volume 62:
- Eucalyptus honeys could be characterized based on seven volatile compounds, whereas lavender honeys had only five...
- (rare) Nectar.
- (figuratively) Something sweet or desirable.
- c. 1591–1595, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Romeo and Ivliet”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene iii], line 91–93:
- O my love, my wife! / Death, that hath suck'd the honey of thy breath / Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty.
- 1613, William Shakespeare; [John Fletcher], “The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene ii]:
- the honey of his language
- A term of affection.
- Honey, would you take out the trash?
- Honey, I'm home.
- 2013 July 30, Dan Shive, El Goonish Shive (webcomic), Comic for Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013:
- "So far, so good... are you doing okay?" "Flying... is awesome!" "Focus, honey."
- (countable, informal) A woman, especially an attractive one.
- Man, there are some fine honeys here tonight!
- A spectrum of pale yellow to brownish-yellow colour, like that of most types of (the sweet substance) honey.
honey (not comparable)
- Involving or resembling honey.
- 1599, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Henry the Fift”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene ii]:
- So work the honey-bees, / Creatures that by a rule in nature teach / The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
- Of a pale yellow to brownish-yellow colour, like most types of honey.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- (transitive) To sweeten; to make agreeable.
- (transitive) To add honey to.
- (intransitive) To be gentle, agreeable, or coaxing; to talk fondly; to use endearments.
- (intransitive) To be or become obsequiously courteous or complimentary; to fawn.