honey
honeyful, adj.honeyless, adj.honeylike, adj.
/hun"ee/, n., pl. honeys, adj., v., honeyed or honied, honeying.
n.
1. a sweet, viscid fluid produced by bees from the nectar collected from flowers, and stored in nests or hives as food.
2. this substance as used in cooking or as a spread or sweetener.
3. the nectar of flowers.
4. any of various similarly sweet, viscid products produced by insects or in other ways.
5. something sweet, delicious, or delightful: the honey of flattery.
6. Informal. a person for whom one feels love or deep affection; sweetheart; darling.
7. (sometimes cap.) an affectionate or familiar term of address (sometimes offensive when used to strangers, casual acquaintances, subordinates, etc., esp. by a male to a female).
8. Informal. something of esp. high quality, degree of excellence, etc.: That's a honey of a computer.
adj.
9. of, like, or pertaining to honey; sweet.
10. containing honey or flavored or sweetened with honey.
v.t.
11. Informal. to talk flatteringly or endearingly to (often fol. by up).
12. to sweeten or flavor with or as if with honey.
v.i.
13. Informal. to use flattery, endearing terms, etc., in an effort to obtain something (often fol. by up): They always got what they wanted by honeying up to their grandfather.
[bef. 900; ME hony, OE hunig; c. D, G honig, ON hunang; akin to Gk knekós pale yellow, tawny]

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Sweet, viscous liquid food, golden in colour, produced in the honey sacs of various bees from the nectar of flowers.

Honey has played an important role in human nutrition since ancient times; until about 250 years ago, it was almost the sole sweetening agent. Honey is often produced on a commercial scale from clover (Trifolium) or sweet clover (Melilotus) by the domestic honeybee. The nectar is ripened into honey by inversion of most of its sucrose into the sugars levulose (fructose) and dextrose (glucose) and the removal of excess moisture. Honey is stored in the beehive or nest in a honeycomb, a double layer of uniform hexagonal cells constructed of beeswax and propolis (a plant resin). The honey is used in winter as food for the bee larvae and other members of the colony. Honey extracted for human consumption is usually heated to destroy fermentation-causing yeasts and then strained. See also beekeeping.

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▪ food product
      sweet, viscous liquid food, dark golden in colour, produced in the honey sacs of various bees from the nectar of flowers. Flavour and colour are determined by the flowers from which the nectar is gathered. Some of the most commercially desirable honeys are produced from clover by the domestic honeybee. The nectar is ripened into honey by inversion of the major portion of its sucrose sugar into the sugars levulose (fructose) and dextrose (glucose) and by the removal of excess moisture. Honey is stored in the beehive or nest in a honeycomb, a double layer of uniform hexagonal cells constructed of beeswax (secreted by the worker bees) and propolis (a plant resin collected by the workers). Honeycomb is used in winter as food for the larvae and other members of the colony. It is commonly sold by beekeepers as a delicacy, or the wax may be extracted for various purposes.

      Honey contains about 18 percent water, is water soluble, and may granulate between 50° and 65° F (10° and 18° C). Somewhat acid, it has mild antiseptic properties and has been used in the treatment of burns and lacerations. One of the most easily assimilated foods, it is widely used in baked goods, candies, prepared fruits, cereals, and medicines.

      Honey was almost the only source of sugar available to the ancients and was valued for its medicinal benefits. It was used to make mead, a fermented beverage, and was mixed with wine and other alcoholic drinks. In Egypt it was employed as an embalming material. In India and other Asian countries it was used to preserve fruit and make cakes, sweetmeats, and other foods. Honey is mentioned in the Bible and in the Qurʾān.

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Universalium. 2010.

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