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From Middle English hony combe, from Old English huniġcamb; equivalent to honey +‎ comb. The Oxford English Dictionary (s.v. "honeycomb") suggests that the arrangement of plates of wax (with honey) "hanging parallel to each other from the roof of the hive suggests a comb with its teeth".


Honeycomb with drone larvae and eggs.
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honeycomb (plural honeycombs)

  1. A structure of hexagonal cells made by bees primarily of wax, to hold their larvae and for storing the honey to feed the larvae and to feed themselves during winter.
  2. Any structure resembling a honeycomb.
    The wood porch was a honeycomb of termite tunnels before we replaced it.
  3. (construction) voids left in concrete resulting from failure of the mortar to effectively fill the spaces among coarse aggregate particles.
  4. (aviation) Manufactured material used manufacture light, stiff structural components using a sandwich design.
  5. (solar cell) The texture of the surface of a solar cell, intended to increase its surface area and capture more sunlight.
  6. (geometry) A space-filling packing of polytopes in 3- or higher-dimensional space.
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Derived termsEdit



honeycomb (third-person singular simple present honeycombs, present participle honeycombing, simple past and past participle honeycombed)

  1. To riddle something with holes, especially in such a pattern.
    Termites will honeycomb a porch made of untreated pine.

See alsoEdit