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[nek-ter] /ˈnɛk tər/
the saccharine secretion of a plant, which attracts the insects or birds that pollinate the flower.
the juice of a fruit, especially when not diluted, or a blend of fruit juices:
pear nectar; tropical nectar.
Classical Mythology. the life-giving drink of the gods.
Compare ambrosia (def 1).
any delicious drink.
1545-55; < Latin < Greek néktar
Related forms
nectarlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nectar
  • Honeybees drink nectar and gather pollen at the flowers.
  • The newcomers then had no choice but to carbo-load, switching over to such sweet treats as honeydew nectar produced by aphids.
  • For example, hummingbirds hover over large flowers as they lap up the sweet nectar from inside.
  • When touring the bird aviary, patrons can hold a cup of sweet nectar for the parrots to sip.
  • They poke their heads into the flowers to sip the sweet nectar.
  • But a closer inspection reveals that this sweet-smelling, nectar-rich rosette is no flower at all.
  • After hummingbirds drink nectar from real flowers, it takes time for the flowers to replenish their supply.
  • Honey is the sweet, sticky fluid which bees make from the nectar of flowers.
  • It has a deep reddish brown color and a nectar consistency.
  • Bees can increase their flight power by expanding the arc of their wing strokes when carrying a load of pollen or nectar.
British Dictionary definitions for nectar


a sugary fluid produced in the nectaries of plants and collected by bees and other animals
(classical myth) the drink of the gods Compare ambrosia (sense 1)
any delicious drink, esp a sweet one
something very pleasant or welcome: your words are nectar to me
(mainly US)
  1. the undiluted juice of a fruit
  2. a mixture of fruit juices
Derived Forms
nectareous (nɛkˈtɛərɪəs), nectarous, adjective
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek néktar, perhaps nek- death (related to nekros corpse) + -tar, related to Sanskrit tarati he overcomes; compare Latin nex death and trans across
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nectar

1550s, from Latin nectar, from Greek nektar, name of the drink of the gods, which is said to be a compound of nek- "death" (see necro-) + -tar "overcoming," from PIE *tere- "to cross over, pass through, overcome." Meaning "sweet liquid in flowers" first recorded c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nectar in Science
A sweet liquid secreted by plants as food to attract animals that will benefit them. Many flowers produce nectar to attract pollinating insects, birds, and bats. Bees collect nectar to make into honey. Nectar is produced in structures called nectaries. Some plants have nectaries located elsewhere, outside the flower. These provide a food source for animals such as ants which in turn defend the plant from harmful insects. Nectar consists primarily of water and varying concentrations of many different sugars, including fructose, glucose, and sucrose.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for nectar

sweet, viscous secretion from the nectaries, or glands, in plant blossoms, stems, and leaves. It attracts fruit-eating bats, hummingbirds, and insects, who aid in effecting pollination by transferring from plant to plant the pollen that clings to their bodies. Nectar is the raw material used by the honeybee to produce honey. Mainly a watery solution of the sugars fructose, glucose, and sucrose, it also contains traces of proteins, salts, acids, and essential oils. Sugar content varies from 3 to 80 percent, depending upon such factors as flower species and soil and air conditions. Honeybees gather nectar mainly from the blossoms and rarely gather nectars having less than 15 percent sugar content.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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