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A whole nutmeg
A 19th-century watercolour of a nutmeg plant
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A part-translation of Old French nois mugede (modern noix de muscade or noix muscade), from Medieval Latin nux muscata (musky nut).



nutmeg (plural nutmegs)

  1. An evergreen tree, Myristica fragrans, cultivated in the East Indies for its spicy seeds.
  2. The aromatic seed of this tree, used as a spice.
  3. A grey-brown colour.
  4. (soccer) The playing of the ball between the legs of an opponent.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Daniel Taylor, “Youthful England earn draw with Germany but Lingard rues late miss”, in The Guardian (London)[1]:
      The same applied to Loftus-Cheek, who grew into the game after a quiet start and even had the impudence to slip the ball through Marcel Halstenberg’s legs in the first half. Nutmegs aside, Loftus-Cheek also came up with one of England’s best passes of the night, sending Jamie Vardy through the middle at the end of the first half.

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nutmeg (third-person singular simple present nutmegs, present participle nutmegging, simple past and past participle nutmegged)

  1. (transitive) To flavour with nutmeg.
    She decided the eggnog was lacking in flavor, so she decided to nutmeg it heavily.
  2. (soccer, transitive) To play the ball between the legs of (an opponent).
    • (Can we date this quote?), Daniel Taylor, “Luis Suárez strikes twice as Barcelona teach Manchester City a lesson”, in The Guardian (London)[2]:
      Barcelona did not just out play them, they emphatically put them in their place during that opening 45 minutes when Luis Suárez scored twice, Dani Alves struck the crossbar, Lionel Messi nutmegged David Silva and Manuel Pellegrini’s team stumbled to the interval like a side in need of smelling salts rather than half-time oranges.

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