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See also: Honey


English Wikipedia has an article on:
A jar of honey, with a honey dipper and scones


From Middle English hony, honi, from Old English huniġ, from Proto-Germanic *hunagą (compare West Frisian hunich, German Honig), from earlier *hunangą (compare Swedish honung), from pre-Germanic *kn̥h₂onkós, from Proto-Indo-European *kn̥h₂ónks (gen. *kn̥h₂kós) (compare Middle Welsh canecon (gold), Latin canicae (bran, plural), Tocharian B kronkśe (bee), Albanian qengjë (beehive), Ancient Greek κνῆκος (knêkos, safflower)), Kurdish şan (beehive).


  • 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.
  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. (figuratively) Something sweet or desirable.
    • 1595, William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 5, Scene 3, lines 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.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare
      the honey of his language
  4. A term of affection.
    Honey, would you take out the trash?
    Honey, I'm home.
  5. (countable, informal) A woman, especially an attractive one.
    Man, there are some fine honeys here tonight!
  6. A spectrum of pale yellow to brownish-yellow colour, like that of most types of (the sweet substance) honey.
    honey colour:  






honey (not comparable)

  1. Involving or resembling honey.
    • 1599 William Shakespeare, Henry V, act 1, scene 2:
      So work the honey-bees, / Creatures that by a rule in nature teach / The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
  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. (intransitive) To be gentle, agreeable, or coaxing; to talk fondly; to use endearments.
    • Shakespeare
      Honeying and making love.
  3. (intransitive) To be or become obsequiously courteous or complimentary; to fawn.

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