What is the difference between the two words nectar and juice? Dictionaries say:

Nectar: nectar is also a drink made from some fruits:
- Apricot nectar

Juice: the liquid that comes from fruit or vegetables:
- Orange/lemon/grapefruit/carrot juice

As you see, dictionaries do not give much information about these words.

My questions:
- Do they mean the same?
- Which one can be one hundred percent natural?
- Do they both include sugar?

  • I’m not sure which dictionary you’re using that has such vague definitions, but there are better ones out there. merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nectar merriam-webster.com/dictionary/juice
    – ColleenV
    Jun 8, 2019 at 10:49
  • Cambridge Dictionary @ColleenV. You can have a look on it. Meanwhile, I saw the MerriM-Webster's definitions prior to posting my question. It is still vague and not responsive regarding every single segment of my question.
    – A-friend
    Jun 8, 2019 at 11:14
  • @ColleenV Merriam-Webster has a kind of weird definition for "juice", though, as you don't really think of your breakfast beverage as "the extracted fluid contents of orange tissues". Although I'm definitely going to use that the next time I make some: "Honey could you please get us some oranges from the market? I want to extract and ingest the fluid content of their pulped tissues. Thanks!" I mean, they could at least mention it's commonly used to describe the liquid contents of certain fruits and vegetables.
    – Andrew
    Jun 8, 2019 at 11:17
  • I didn’t mean to imply those definitions were an answer, just that they were better than the vague paraphrasing you used in your question.
    – ColleenV
    Jun 8, 2019 at 11:17

1 Answer 1


From an English perspective (i.e., how these words are used in everyday conversation), a juice is a drink made from fruits and vegetables, while a nectar is a more-seldom-used word that might be used to refer to a beverage that is sweeter, thicker, or pulpier than a juice – particularly if it's made from a more exotic fruit.

Things get trickier when you are talking about using the terms from a scientific, legal, or labeling perspective. There are many columns on the internet talking about the technical differences between these two terms – as an exercise for the learner, simply type "difference between juice and nectar" into your favorite search engine, and you'll find many columns (like this one) from juice companies and nutrition experts trying to explain the dividing line, which is as fuzzy as a ripe peach.

In everyday conversation, though, I wouldn't expect anyone to come to my house and ask for a glass of nectar; "Could I have a glass of juice?" is a question I am much more likely to hear. Even if the only carafe in my fridge was labeled "Apricot Nectar," I'd probably just pour that into a glass for my friend, and there's a good chance I would not even mention the slight deviation from the original request.

  • Thank you very much @J.R. Actually I did that and I habitually will do that everytime before opening my threads. But most of the internet sources are quite technical. I just needed to know what do you call a 100% natural one? Natural juice or natural nectar? Then I needed to make sure if both of them contain preservatives and sugar or not (in the manner that if they contain such addatives, then they cannot considered as natural and subsequently would be unhealthy.
    – A-friend
    Jun 8, 2019 at 11:21
  • @A-friend What you're asking isn't a question about English, but food science. Do you know what you'd call the described beverages in your first language? I don't know the English terms. So you'd do well to look it up somewhere else. Non-specialist dictionaries aren't concerned with the distinctions you have in mind, and hence aren't the right place to find this sort of information. (I for one wouldn't rely on them to give me any definitive information concerning the terms in question.) Good luck.
    – user3395
    Jun 8, 2019 at 12:37
  • 1
    @A-friend - Sorry, you lost me at "100% natural." I have no idea what qualifies as "100% natural;" I see that term used on labels a lot, but, when I read the fine print, the ingredients don't look all that natural to me.
    – J.R.
    Jun 8, 2019 at 17:39

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