Definition of honeycomb in English:

honeycomb

noun

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

    • ‘Once the bee has made it home again, it barfs up the half-digested nectar and stores it in honeycombs.’
    • ‘The bee's honeycombs, pristine hexagons, are symmetrical over several axes.’
    • ‘During this period, various enzymes combine to form honey, which is then spread out evenly throughout the honeycombs.’
    • ‘It all has to be painstakingly removed from the honeycomb.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Beeswax is taken from honeycomb.’
    • ‘The very young bees make the wax for the honeycomb.’
    • ‘This mesh looks a bit like a honeycomb, with spaces between the different parts.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The surplus is stored away in the honeycomb to sustain the bees throughout the flowerless months of autumn and winter.’
    • ‘Other topics which Maclaurin wrote on were the annular eclipse of the sun in 1737 and the structure of bees' honeycombs.’
    • ‘The nectar is greatly concentrated and stored in wax cells, thousands of which form 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.’
    • ‘Then a fire is lit at the base of the cliff to smoke the bees from their honeycombs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Next we could pose for a picture while holding a honeycomb full of bees.’
    • ‘Through his discussions with Réaumur, König was led to publish a work on the structure of 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.’
  • 2A structure of adjoining cavities or cells:

    ‘a honeycomb of caves’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You can see it's like a honeycomb structure in which the material is in between the two composite layers.’
    • ‘The steel insert actually has a honeycomb structure that is covered by the polymer.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The foam has a honeycomb structure and is completely recyclable.’
    • ‘There's a circle of 15 chairs by the windows, away from the honeycomb of cubicles.’
    • ‘There's an underground honeycomb of meditation cells, where incense drifts through the darkness.’
    • ‘The whole place stank of sulphur and the terrain, full of rocky ridges, caves, and deep ravines, was a honeycomb of concrete and steel.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Crossing the storage lot at the Port of Richmond, Marty Moynihan stopped his car beside a massive honeycomb of black pipes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In addition, the upper and lower sections of the front grille have a honeycomb mesh.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A spin-off company is expected to market the technology and to produce the structural honeycomb products.’
    • ‘One entire wall was a wine rack, a giant honeycomb of clay-colored octagonal cubbies.’
    • ‘Somewhere in the descending darkness was a honeycomb of seemingly endless caverns, some as big as two kilometers across.’
    • ‘‘When councillors sit in there, they may well be unaware they are surrounded by a honeycomb of passageways,’ said Matthew Stephenson from Yorkwalk.’
    • ‘The rock was pitted with a honeycomb of caves, each formerly the cell of a Byzantine monk.’
    • ‘The resulting mineral construction contained a honeycomb of tiny compartments.’
    1. 2.1 A mass of cavities produced by corrosion or dissolution:
      [as modifier] ‘honeycomb weathering’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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. 2.2 A raised hexagonal or cellular pattern on a fabric.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The final winner was Eriskay fabric, a worsted material with an unusual honeycomb texture, designed by Catherine Murray from Bute Fabrics.’
      • ‘One of the throw pillows had a honeycomb pattern that made me dizzy.’
      • ‘Honeycomb fabric is distinguished by the honeycomb or waffle patterns on the surface of the fabric.’
  • 3also honeycomb toffeeBritish [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’
    • ‘A sweet treat that the whole family will enjoy, this delicious honeycomb will also make a lovely present, wrapped in cellophane’
    • ‘Ray made caramelised apple Napoleon, with frangipani, a scoop of malt ice cream which had been rolled in honeycomb, and apple pudding.’
    • ‘This cookbook covers the full spectrum of treats: indulgent Belgian Chocolate Mousse with Honeycomb, Orange and Passion Fruit Trifle, and Honey Creme Brulee.’
    • ‘She was making milk ice cream with honeycomb pieces, pickled blackberries, blackberry gel, lavender flowers and hazelnut dust.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 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.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Fill with cavities or tunnels:

    ‘whole hillsides were honeycombed with mines’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I crawled around one of the thousands of tunnels honeycombing the island, then I returned to the squadron.’
    • ‘Ultimately, Green Hill became honeycombed with mine workings and covered in dumps.’
    • ‘The building will be honeycombed with courtyards, which will be planted with trees and shrubs, and there will be disabled access throughout.’
    • ‘The Loess Plateau in Shaanxi is honeycombed with caves.’
    • ‘Another method is to honeycomb the building with internal walls.’
    • ‘A site near the town is honeycombed with caves containing ancient Buddhist art.’
    • ‘It still had a functional role in WW II, when the cliffs on which it stood were honeycombed with tunnels.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘Around these the exterior walls and towers are honeycombed with passages, stairs, chambers, and services.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The sides were honeycombed with passages that contained the lairs of the dragons.’
    • ‘They hurriedly set about constructing fortified positions in the sewers, cellars and vaults which honeycombed the entire ghetto.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘Finally woken up,’ said the old cleaner as he emerged from one of the many passages honeycombing the sides of the cave.’
    • ‘The ground beneath the abbey was honeycombed with a series of caves that became the scene of countless orgies and unspeakable rituals.’
    • ‘The island, itself, is honeycombed with tunnels.’
    • ‘The government has honeycombed mountains with thousands of miles of virtually unused highways.’
    1. 1.1 Infiltrate and undermine:
      ‘their men honeycombed the army’
      • ‘They honeycombed the State Department and the Office of Strategic Services.’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

Old English hunigcamb (see honey, comb).

Pronunciation

honeycomb

/ˈhʌnɪkəʊm/