1. A sweet liquid that many plants secrete from specialized structures, often inside flowers, where it serves to attract pollinators such as certain insects and birds. Bees use nectar to make honey.
2. Greek & Roman Mythology The drink of the gods.
a. A beverage containing fruit juice or purée.
b. A delicious or invigorating drink.
[Latin, from Greek nektar, drink of the gods; see nek-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.