Definition of honeycomb in English:



  • 1A structure of hexagonal cells of wax, made by bees to store honey and eggs.

    • ‘Beeswax is taken from honeycomb.’
    • ‘Next we could pose for a picture while holding a honeycomb full of bees.’
    • ‘To serve, place a piece of the honeycomb in the center of a plate, set a pear on top and place a quenelle of ice cream to one side.’
    • ‘Other topics which Maclaurin wrote on were the annular eclipse of the sun in 1737 and the structure of bees' honeycombs.’
    • ‘This mesh looks a bit like a honeycomb, with spaces between the different parts.’
    • ‘The very young bees make the wax for the honeycomb.’
    • ‘The buffet breakfast provides an extensive choice including enjoyably creamy scrambled eggs and home-produced honey still clinging to its honeycomb.’
    • ‘He believes nature is the best designer and that its secret lies in simple shapes and components, such as the snowflake or the honeycomb, which are repeated again and again, all around us.’
    • ‘The surplus is stored away in the honeycomb to sustain the bees throughout the flowerless months of autumn and winter.’
    • ‘Then a fire is lit at the base of the cliff to smoke the bees from their honeycombs.’
    • ‘During this period, various enzymes combine to form honey, which is then spread out evenly throughout the honeycombs.’
    • ‘Sometimes she brought home honeycomb, dripping with sweet golden stickiness, gained by climbing the hollow tree and raking it out of the hive, risking the wild bees' anger.’
    • ‘Once the honey is gooey enough, the bees seal off the cell of the honeycomb with a plug of wax.’
    • ‘To identify the location of a food source too distant from the hive to be smelled or seen by the other bees, the scout does a dance on the honeycomb inside the hive.’
    • ‘Using a method thousands of years old, he takes the honeycomb from swarming, bee-infested hives, and believe it or not, he does it with just his bare hands.’
    • ‘The nectar is greatly concentrated and stored in wax cells, thousands of which form the honeycomb.’
    • ‘Through his discussions with Réaumur, König was led to publish a work on the structure of honeycombs.’
    • ‘The bee's honeycombs, pristine hexagons, are symmetrical over several axes.’
    • ‘Once the bee has made it home again, it barfs up the half-digested nectar and stores it in honeycombs.’
    • ‘It all has to be painstakingly removed from the honeycomb.’
  • 2A structure of adjoining cavities or cells.

    ‘a honeycomb of caves’
    • ‘You can see it's like a honeycomb structure in which the material is in between the two composite layers.’
    • ‘As the living coral grows out from the reef, it leaves behind a honeycomb structure that slowly fills with sand and debris, compacting over time to form solid rock.’
    • ‘These features included the mile-long network of galleries that lined the rock and the honeycomb of tunnels that afforded the garrison protection and access to all points of the compass from which they might be threatened.’
    • ‘‘When councillors sit in there, they may well be unaware they are surrounded by a honeycomb of passageways,’ said Matthew Stephenson from Yorkwalk.’
    • ‘Somewhere in the descending darkness was a honeycomb of seemingly endless caverns, some as big as two kilometers across.’
    • ‘There's an underground honeycomb of meditation cells, where incense drifts through the darkness.’
    • ‘The rock was pitted with a honeycomb of caves, each formerly the cell of a Byzantine monk.’
    • ‘With its honeycomb of medieval streets, the centre of York has struggled to come to terms with growth of motor traffic over the last 50 years.’
    • ‘He studied the crystal structure of snowflakes and the honeycomb structure of cork.’
    • ‘We've looked at the honeycomb material that the aircraft industry likes, which is half the weight of wood but 16 times the cost of wood.’
    • ‘This man-made labyrinth, constructed on a variety of levels, combines intimately with the rock's own vast natural system of fissures, tunnels and caverns to form a veritable honeycomb inside it.’
    • ‘The new call for unity and stability accompanied measures to improve China's defence, of which the most dramatic was the campaign to dig a huge honeycomb of air raid shelters beneath the cities.’
    • ‘The resulting mineral construction contained a honeycomb of tiny compartments.’
    • ‘A spin-off company is expected to market the technology and to produce the structural honeycomb products.’
    • ‘The steel insert actually has a honeycomb structure that is covered by the polymer.’
    • ‘In addition, the upper and lower sections of the front grille have a honeycomb mesh.’
    • ‘Crossing the storage lot at the Port of Richmond, Marty Moynihan stopped his car beside a massive honeycomb of black pipes.’
    • ‘There's a circle of 15 chairs by the windows, away from the honeycomb of cubicles.’
    • ‘The foam has a honeycomb structure and is completely recyclable.’
    • ‘One entire wall was a wine rack, a giant honeycomb of clay-colored octagonal cubbies.’
    • ‘The whole place stank of sulphur and the terrain, full of rocky ridges, caves, and deep ravines, was a honeycomb of concrete and steel.’
    1. 2.1A mass of cavities produced by corrosion or dissolution.
      [as modifier] ‘honeycomb weathering’
      • ‘The lumps are a result of the interaction of the bacteria dissolving the bone, and the bone trying to repair itself, leaving a honeycomb effect.’
      • ‘They have eaten through the plaster itself to the point where it is no more than a rotting honeycomb, a huge housing system for an entire ecosystem of bugs.’
      • ‘Sometimes the entire face of the stone can be lost leaving a honeycomb of cement mortar standing proud, forming a water trap and increasing the risk of frost damage.’
    2. 2.2A raised hexagonal or cellular pattern on a fabric.
      • ‘Honeycomb fabric is distinguished by the honeycomb or waffle patterns on the surface of the fabric.’
      • ‘One of the throw pillows had a honeycomb pattern that made me dizzy.’
      • ‘The final winner was Eriskay fabric, a worsted material with an unusual honeycomb texture, designed by Catherine Murray from Bute Fabrics.’
      • ‘The honeycomb texture is recessed rather than raised, and is available in a wide range of colours from rich vibrant reds, yellows, oranges, blues and greens to more unexpected pastel shades.’
  • 3British [mass noun] A sweet food with a crisp bubbly texture, typically made by boiling together sugar, golden syrup, water, and bicarbonate of soda.

    ‘chocolate crepes topped with crunchy honeycomb’
    • ‘The dessert was a Belgian chocolate pot, served with pistachio nuts, salted caramel, and honeycomb, having a Christmas look and feel to it.’
    • ‘For maple syrup honeycomb, her formula is 250 grams maple syrup + 165 grams glucose syrup + 50 grams sugar that she heats to 151C, then beats in 13 grams baking soda.’
    • ‘This cookbook covers the full spectrum of treats: indulgent Belgian Chocolate Mousse with Honeycomb, Orange and Passion Fruit Trifle, and Honey Creme Brulee.’
    • ‘Ray made caramelised apple Napoleon, with frangipani, a scoop of malt ice cream which had been rolled in honeycomb, and apple pudding.’
    • ‘She was making milk ice cream with honeycomb pieces, pickled blackberries, blackberry gel, lavender flowers and hazelnut dust.’
    • ‘A sweet treat that the whole family will enjoy, this delicious honeycomb will also make a lovely present, wrapped in cellophane’
  • 4[mass noun] Tripe from the second stomach of a ruminant.

    • ‘Tripe comes in four types; the fat part of the first belly and three different section of honeycomb from the second stomach.’


  • 1 Fill with cavities or tunnels.

    ‘whole hillsides were honeycombed with mines’
    • ‘They hurriedly set about constructing fortified positions in the sewers, cellars and vaults which honeycombed the entire ghetto.’
    • ‘The government has honeycombed mountains with thousands of miles of virtually unused highways.’
    • ‘The building will be honeycombed with courtyards, which will be planted with trees and shrubs, and there will be disabled access throughout.’
    • ‘The swift water cuts steep banks in the tough, resilient sod, and the mossy sides of this miniature canyon are honeycombed with mouse-sized holes.’
    • ‘He said: ‘The area is honeycombed with alleyways which make easy getaways for criminals and there are a worrying number of burglaries around them and all sorts of other problems.’’
    • ‘It still had a functional role in WW II, when the cliffs on which it stood were honeycombed with tunnels.’
    • ‘The ground beneath the abbey was honeycombed with a series of caves that became the scene of countless orgies and unspeakable rituals.’
    • ‘He said US forces would move to other parts of a region honeycombed with caves and tunnels that could hide terrorists or guns and explosives.’
    • ‘‘Finally woken up,’ said the old cleaner as he emerged from one of the many passages honeycombing the sides of the cave.’
    • ‘Ultimately, Green Hill became honeycombed with mine workings and covered in dumps.’
    • ‘The island, itself, is honeycombed with tunnels.’
    • ‘Around these the exterior walls and towers are honeycombed with passages, stairs, chambers, and services.’
    • ‘I crawled around one of the thousands of tunnels honeycombing the island, then I returned to the squadron.’
    • ‘The sides were honeycombed with passages that contained the lairs of the dragons.’
    • ‘Despite previous American searches of the area around the Shah-e-Kot valley, it is still honeycombed with caves, bunkers and hideouts that have not been searched.’
    • ‘A site near the town is honeycombed with caves containing ancient Buddhist art.’
    • ‘The Loess Plateau in Shaanxi is honeycombed with caves.’
    • ‘Another method is to honeycomb the building with internal walls.’
    1. 1.1Infiltrate and undermine.
      ‘their men honeycombed the army’
      • ‘But it is not as evident as many news stories imply and all too many people suspect that the Archdiocese of Boston, or the Catholic Church, is honeycombed with pedophiles.’
      • ‘They are honeycombed with Socialists - probably with Communists.’
      • ‘They honeycombed the State Department and the Office of Strategic Services.’


Old English hunigcamb (see honey, comb).