Definition of nutmeg in US English:

nutmeg

noun

  • 1The hard, aromatic, almost spherical seed of a tropical tree.

    • ‘First of all, I did it by eating whole nutmegs, I was cleaning the kitchen and found this thing called nutmeg.’
    • ‘The bread sauce should be smooth and well-flavoured, mace being a traditional spice (the outside husk of a nutmeg, between the nut and the shell) to infuse with the milk.’
    • ‘The nutmeg is the seed of the Indonesian Myristica fragrans whose small yellow flowers develop into a fleshy, scarlet fruit enclosing the meg.’
    • ‘The stone is the size of a nutmeg and has a hard, black case, sometimes thick, sometimes thin.’
    • ‘Underneath that is a beautiful red, lacy layer of aril - also called mace blades - that cling to the thin, hard shell surrounding the nutmeg.’
    1. 1.1 Nutmeg grated and used as a spice.
      • ‘Rosengarten's version calls for 25 ingredients, almost half of them spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.’
      • ‘Four spice is a ground spice mixture usually containing white pepper, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon or cloves.’
      • ‘In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.’
      • ‘There are many versions of the recipe, some calling for cinnamon only, some also using ginger, cloves and nutmeg.’
      • ‘To bake the tart, beat the eggs and extra egg yolks with the cream, nutmeg, sea salt and pepper and parsley.’
      • ‘The tequila fills the mouth with a lavish array of warm flavors, largely floral and semi-sweet spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.’
      • ‘Then I added Nancy's special mix of spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves’
      • ‘From Southeast Asia came black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves.’
      • ‘In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, almonds, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and wine.’
      • ‘In the garden they grew cardamom, turmeric, curry leaves and pepper as well as imported ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, chillies, vanilla, cumin and coriander.’
      • ‘In a shallow pan, gently heat the milk, bay leaf, nutmeg, salt and pepper.’
      • ‘They planted some of the saplings in Java, a Dutch colony already supplying Europe with pepper, nutmeg, and other spices.’
      • ‘Sweeten with condensed milk, nutmeg and cinnamon, this hot cereal is a perfect way to start your day.’
      • ‘Add the apples, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, black pepper, nutmeg, salt, and cinnamon and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.’
      • ‘And it was flavored with not just overused cinnamon but with nutmeg and clove as well; those spices did not make the granola noticeably spicy, but rather added fine nuances.’
      • ‘Modern haggis generally has beef suet rather than mutton fat, and cayenne pepper or nutmeg are usual additions.’
      • ‘Other commonly used spices are ginger, nutmeg, and pepper.’
      • ‘Sift the flour, mixed spice, nutmeg and baking powder together.’
      • ‘An agricultural country whose chief crop is rice, Sri Lanka is known for spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, pepper, and cloves.’
      • ‘They wanted to trade: the market at home was eager (at one time or another) for spices - pepper, nutmeg, mace and cloves.’
  • 2The evergreen tree that bears nutmeg seeds, native to the Moluccas.

    Myristica fragrans, family Myristicaceae

    • ‘However, Run Island figured prominently on seventeenth century maps because of the fragrant nutmeg that grew in abundance there.’
    • ‘Nutmeg, another mystical tree from the Spice Islands, gets the oils distilled from the kernels of its fruits - the nutmeg itself.’
    • ‘While the gathering of fallen nuts remains unrestricted, the trees themselves continue to belong to the government as a fundamental component of the nutmeg groves.’
    • ‘This is cardamom country, nutmeg too, where spices grow along the roadside, and where pepper vines wind their tendrils around banana palms and over camellia bushes.’
    • ‘We emerged into the country to find ourselves amid an open expanse of coconut palms, interspersed with the odd clove and nutmeg tree, banana palm and cinnamon bush.’

Origin

Late Middle English notemuge, partial translation of Old French nois muguede, based on Latin nux ‘nut’ + late Latin muscus ‘musk’.

Pronunciation

nutmeg

/ˈnətˌmeɡ//ˈnətˌmɛɡ/