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nutmeg Line breaks: nut¦meg
Pronunciation: /ˈnʌtmɛɡ/

Definition of nutmeg in English:


1The hard, aromatic, almost spherical seed of a tropical tree.
Example sentences
  • Underneath that is a beautiful red, lacy layer of aril - also called mace blades - that cling to the thin, hard shell surrounding the nutmeg.
  • The stone is the size of a nutmeg and has a hard, black case, sometimes thick, sometimes thin.
  • The nutmeg is the seed of the Indonesian Myristica fragrans whose small yellow flowers develop into a fleshy, scarlet fruit enclosing the meg.
1.1 [mass noun] Nutmegs grated and used as a spice: hot milk flavoured with nutmeg
More example sentences
  • In the garden they grew cardamom, turmeric, curry leaves and pepper as well as imported ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, chillies, vanilla, cumin and coriander.
  • Four spice is a ground spice mixture usually containing white pepper, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon or cloves.
  • Modern haggis generally has beef suet rather than mutton fat, and cayenne pepper or nutmeg are usual additions.
2The evergreen tree that bears nutmegs, native to the Moluccas.
  • Myristica fragrans, family Myristicaceae
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nutmeg, another mystical tree from the Spice Islands, gets the oils distilled from the kernels of its fruits - the nutmeg itself.
3 Soccer , informal An instance of playing the ball through an opponent’s legs.
[Extended use of obsolete nutmegs 'testicles']
Example sentences
  • The nutmeg as Mills tried to shield the ball at the corner flag was a sublime example of justified arrogance.
  • The highlights were a nutmeg on the byline, and a blistering run down the wing that left Cole for dead - his cross nearly brought a second goal.
  • ‘I'm embarrassed for these idiot American newspapermen who don't know anything about football, or what a nutmeg is,’ Mike Manley.

verb (nutmegs, nutmegging, nutmegged)

[with object] Soccer , informal Back to top  
Play the ball through the legs of (an opponent): Brady drifted past three defenders, nutmegging the third with ease
More example sentences
  • How did you feel when Henry nutmegged you by the corner flag?
  • He sped down the flank, nutmegging Robertson and Brown, cut inside and gave the ball back to Lynch for a regulation tap-in.
  • Next up McFadden, nutmegging Simon Mensing and winning a free-kick.


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

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