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See also: Honey


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A jar of honey, with a honey dipper and scones

Alternative forms[edit]


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).


  • IPA(key): /ˈhʌni/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌni
  • Hyphenation: hon‧ey


honey (usually uncountable, plural honeys)

  1. (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.
  2. (countable) A variety of this substance.
    • 1908, United States. Bureau of Chemistry, Bulletin[1], 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[2]:
      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[3], volume 62:
      Eucalyptus honeys could be characterized based on seven volatile compounds, whereas lavender honeys had only five...
  3. (rare) Nectar.
  4. (figuratively) Something sweet or desirable.
  5. 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."
  6. (countable, informal) A woman, especially an attractive one.
    Man, there are some fine honeys here tonight!
  7. A spectrum of pale yellow to brownish-yellow colour, like that of most types of (the sweet substance) honey.





  • Japanese: ハニー (hanī)
  • Jarai: ia hơni
  • Marshallese: ōne
  • Sranan Tongo: oni
  • Tok Pisin: hani



honey (not comparable)

  1. Involving or resembling honey.
  2. 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.


honey (third-person singular simple present honeys, present participle honeying, simple past and past participle honeyed)

  1. (transitive) To sweeten; to make agreeable.
  2. (transitive) To add honey to.
  3. (intransitive) To be gentle, agreeable, or coaxing; to talk fondly; to use endearments.
  4. (intransitive) To be or become obsequiously courteous or complimentary; to fawn.

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