AskDefine | Define nectar

Dictionary Definition



1 a sweet liquid secretion that is attractive to pollinators
2 fruit juice especially when undiluted
3 (classical mythology) the food and drink of the gods; mortals who ate it became immortal [syn: ambrosia]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • IPA: /ˈnɛk.tɝ/
  • Schoolbook Phonetics: (nĕkʹtûr)
  • Last Resort Phonetics: NECK-turr


  1. The sweet liquid secreted by flowers to attract pollinating insects and birds.
  2. The drink of the gods.
  3. In the context of "by extension": A delicious drink.
  4. A fruit juice based drink, made from fruit juice, water and sweetener.


sweet liquid secreted by flowers
  • Finnish: mesi
  • German: Nektar
  • Hungarian: virágméz
  • Italian: nettare
  • Russian: нектар
drink of the gods
  • Finnish: nektari
  • German: Nektar
  • Hungarian: istenek itala
  • Italian: nettare
  • Russian: нектар
delicious drink
  • Finnish: nektari
  • German: Nektar
  • Hungarian: nektár
  • Russian: нектар
fruit juice based drink
  • Finnish: nektari, mehu
  • German: Nektar
  • Italian: nettare
  • Russian: нектар

See also

Extensive Definition

otherusesof Nectar Nectar is a sugar-rich liquid produced by plants. It is produced either by the flowers, in which it attracts pollinating animals or by extrafloral nectaries, which provide a nutrient source to animal mutualists providing anti-herbivore protection. It is produced in glands called nectaries.
Nectar is economically important as it is the sugar source for honey. It is also useful in agriculture and horticulture because the adult stages of many predatory insects, as well as hummingbirds and butterflies, feed on nectar.


Nectar is derived from Latin nectar "drink of the gods", which in turn has its origins in the Greek word νέκταρ (néktar), presumed to be a compound of the elements nek- "death" and -tar "overcoming". The earliest recorded use of its current meaning, "sweet liquid in flowers", dates back to 1609.

Floral nectaries

Floral nectaries are generally located at the base of the perianth, so that pollinators are made to brush the flower's reproductive structures, the anthers and pistil, while accessing the nectar.

Extrafloral nectaries

Nectar produced outside the flower is generally made to attract predatory insects. These predatory insects will eat both the nectar and any plant-eating insects around, thus functioning as 'bodyguards'. Extrafloral nectaries are generally located on the leaf petioles, mid-rib or leaf margin. They are thought to be modified trichomes and exude nectar which is sourced from phloem sap. Extrafloral nectaries can be found on species belonging to (amongst others) the genera: Salix, Prunus and Gossypium.


nectar in Czech: Nektar
nectar in Danish: Nektar (planter)
nectar in German: Nektar (Botanik)
nectar in Spanish: Néctar (botánica)
nectar in Esperanto: Nektaro
nectar in French: Nectar (botanique)
nectar in Scottish Gaelic: Neactair
nectar in Korean: 꽃꿀
nectar in Indonesian: Nektar
nectar in Italian: Nettare (botanica)
nectar in Hebrew: צוף
nectar in Lithuanian: Nektaras
nectar in Malay (macrolanguage): Madu
nectar in Dutch: Nectar (plant)
nectar in Japanese: 蜜
nectar in Norwegian: Nektar
nectar in Polish: Nektar (botanika)
nectar in Portuguese: Néctar
nectar in Simple English: Nectar
nectar in Finnish: Mesi
nectar in Swedish: Nektar
nectar in Turkish: Nektar
nectar in Chinese: 花蜜

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ambrosia, artificial sweetener, blackstrap, bonne bouche, calcium cyclamate, cane syrup, cate, choice morsel, clover honey, comb honey, corn syrup, cyclamates, dainty, delicacy, dessert, edulcoration, goody, honey, honeycomb, honeydew, honeypot, kickshaw, manna, maple syrup, molasses, morsel, saccharification, saccharin, savory, sodium cyclamate, sorghum, sugar, sugar-making, sugaring off, sweetener, sweetening, sweets, syrup, tidbit, titbit, treacle, treat
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