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Honeycomb with drone larvae and eggs.


From Middle English hony comb, from Old English huniġcamb; equivalent to honey +‎ comb. The Oxford English Dictionary (s.v. "honeycomb") suggests that the arrangement of plates of wax (with honey) "hanging parallel to each other from the roof of the hive suggests a comb with its teeth".


  • IPA(key): /ˈhʌniːkəʊm/
    • (file)


honeycomb (plural honeycombs)

  1. A structure of hexagonal cells made by bees primarily of wax, to hold their larvae and for storing the honey to feed the larvae and to feed themselves during winter.
  2. (by extension) Any structure resembling a honeycomb.
    The wood porch was a honeycomb of termite tunnels before we replaced it.
    • 1797 June 20, John Adams, “Letter from John Adams to Uriah Forrest”, in Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia[1], archived from the original on 2 September 2008:
      [there is in Jefferson] [] evidence of a mind soured, yet seeking for popularity, and eaten to a honeycomb with ambition []
  3. (construction) Voids left in concrete resulting from failure of the mortar to effectively fill the spaces among coarse aggregate particles.
  4. (aviation) Manufactured material used to manufacture light, stiff structural components using a sandwich design.
  5. (solar cell) The texture of the surface of a solar cell, intended to increase its surface area and capture more sunlight.
  6. (geometry) A space-filling packing of polytopes in 3- or higher-dimensional space.

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honeycomb (third-person singular simple present honeycombs, present participle honeycombing, simple past and past participle honeycombed)

  1. To riddle something with holes, especially in such a pattern.
    Termites will honeycomb a porch made of untreated pine.
    • 1882, Laurence Oliphant, The Land of Khemi: Up and Down the Middle Nile, page 107:
      The ordinary tourist who visits the Boulak museum and the Necropolis of Sakkara, and then runs up to the First or the Second Cataract, is apt to think that the subject must be wellnigh exhausted; and is scarcely conscious of the fact that the banks of the Nile from Cairo to Thebes, between which he glides so rapidly in a Cook's steamer, or, more tranquilly, journeys in a dahabeeya, are strewn with the mounds of ancient cities, especially on the eastern shore, and that its cliffs are honeycombed with tombs.

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