garnish

verb
gar·​nish | \ ˈgär-nish How to pronounce garnish (audio) \
garnished; garnishing; garnishes

Definition of garnish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

b : to add decorative or savory touches to (food or drink) garnished the fish with parsley leaves
2 : to equip with accessories : furnish

garnish

noun

Definition of garnish (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : something (such as lemon wedges or parsley) used to decorate or flavor food or drink
3a : an unauthorized fee formerly extorted from a new inmate of an English jail
b : a similar payment required of a new worker

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Choose the Right Synonym for garnish

Verb

adorn, decorate, ornament, embellish, beautify, deck, garnish mean to enhance the appearance of something by adding something unessential. adorn implies an enhancing by something beautiful in itself. a diamond necklace adorned her neck decorate suggests relieving plainness or monotony by adding beauty of color or design. decorate a birthday cake ornament and embellish imply the adding of something extraneous, ornament stressing the heightening or setting off of the original a white house ornamented with green shutters , embellish often stressing the adding of superfluous or adventitious ornament. embellish a page with floral borders beautify adds to embellish a suggestion of counterbalancing plainness or ugliness. will beautify the grounds with flower beds deck implies the addition of something that contributes to gaiety, splendor, or showiness. a house all decked out for Christmas garnish suggests decorating with a small final touch and is used especially in referring to the serving of food. an entrée garnished with parsley

Did You Know?

Verb

Although we now mostly garnish food, the general application of the "decorate" meaning is older. The link between embellishing an object or space and adding a little parsley to a plate isn't too hard to see, but how does the sense relating to debtors' wages fit in? The answer lies in the word's Anglo-French root, garnir, which means "to warn or to equip." Before wages were garnished, the debtor would be served with a legal summons or warning. The legal sense of "garnish" now focuses on the taking of the wages, but it is rooted in the action of furnishing the warning.

Examples of garnish in a Sentence

Verb Chocolate curls garnished the cake. a chef who never served any dish without first garnishing it Noun added a garnish of parsley to the plate before serving it
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is facing a lawsuit over continuing to garnish the wages of federal student loan borrowers despite Congress suspending that practice in the $2 trillion economic relief package passed earlier this year. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Betsy DeVos faces lawsuit for garnishing wages of student loan borrowers amid pandemic," 1 May 2020 In contrast to the IRS, the state of Oregon took steps to garnish Bowman’s wages for unpaid state taxes, Schindler said. Maxine Bernstein, oregonlive.com, "Feds say Oregon man deliberately didn’t file tax returns; his lawyer says he believed he deserved a religious accommodation," 12 Aug. 2019 Shake vigorously, then strain into the glass and garnish with a small kale leaf. Saveur, "Leaf and Spear," 17 Mar. 2015 In the winter, oranges from our trees and wheatberry pudding garnished with pomegranates. Reem Kassis, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Why we cook when the world doesn’t make sense," 24 Apr. 2020 Serve the casserole garnished with the remaining chile slices, cilantro and a drizzle of yogurt, if desired. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "Recipe: Chicken Tikka Masala Casserole," 22 Apr. 2020 All ingredients are shaken and poured into a coupe glass, garnished with a thin slice of orange and a drizzle of juice. Melissa Locker, Time, "Stanley Tucci Explaining His Negroni Recipe Has Entranced the Internet," 21 Apr. 2020 Haneeth — halal lamb spiced with cumin and cardamom and cooked low and slow in a clay oven — is a singular sensation, splayed on fragrant basmati rice and garnished with caramelized onions. Washington Post, "Tom Sietsema’s 8 favorite place to eat right now," 22 Jan. 2020 The bar serves a variety of cocktails including the tropical Coco Chanel and Paloma Rosa garnished with rose petals. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "Going to the Barrett-Jackson car auction? Try these Scottsdale restaurants near WestWorld," 6 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Serve right away with the tostadas and the optional garnishes. SFChronicle.com, "Recipes for Tara Duggan's cooking demo," 8 Apr. 2020 Make the onion garnish: In a large bowl, toss onions with flour and paprika. Beth Kracklauer, WSJ, "Why Après-Ski Is Passé," 6 Feb. 2020 Stir in the avocado and serve with any of the optional garnishes. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Melissa Copeland’s veggie-rich Mexican rice: a meal in itself," 3 Sep. 2019 Delicious! Chopped up with the parsley garnish on Pork Marbella? Bon Appétit, "Oregano is For So Much More Than Pizza," 9 July 2019 An entree of pork tenderloin seemed to be an entire loin — two colossal cylinders of roast pork, with a port-wine reduction, sweet-potato polenta, and the fragrant garnish of an orange gremolata. Rand Richards Cooper, courant.com, "The Federal, Agawam," 25 June 2019 Like most of the garnishes here, there isn’t only one type of dish crunchy food will complement. Becky Krystal, The Seattle Times, "Quick and easy garnishes to glam up your plain, boring food," 4 Sep. 2018 Chunks of strawberries along with blueberries and blackberries decorated the custard, but the homemade chocolate granola was the star of the garnishes. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Bites & Bubbles serves up a romantic date night in Mills 50," 22 June 2018 For $20, add a bottle of bubbles or four cans of Bloody Marys with garnishes. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "20 metro Phoenix restaurants offering Easter dinner and brunch for take out," 8 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'garnish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of garnish

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for garnish

Verb

Middle English garnishen "to equip, decorate," borrowed from Anglo-French garniss-, present stem of garnir, warnir "to give notice, warn, instruct, give legal summons, provide (for), equip, trim, decorate," going back to Old Low Franconian *warnjan-, variant or reduction of West Germanic *warnōjan- "to make aware" — more at warn

Noun

derivative of garnish entry 1

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Learn More about garnish

Time Traveler for garnish

Time Traveler

The first known use of garnish was in the 14th century

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Statistics for garnish

Last Updated

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Garnish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/garnish. Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for garnish

garnish

verb
How to pronounce garnish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of garnish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to put something on (food) as a decoration also : to be added as a decoration to (food)

garnish

noun

English Language Learners Definition of garnish (Entry 2 of 2)

: something (such as small pieces of fruit, chopped herbs, etc.) that is put on food as a decoration

garnish

verb
gar·​nish | \ ˈgär-nish How to pronounce garnish (audio) \
garnished; garnishing

Kids Definition of garnish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to add decorations or seasoning (as to food)

garnish

noun

Kids Definition of garnish (Entry 2 of 2)

: something used to add decoration or flavoring (as to food)
gar·​nish | \ ˈgär-nish How to pronounce garnish (audio) \

Legal Definition of garnish

1 : to subject (property or money) to garnishment
2 : to seek satisfaction of (a debt) through garnishment — compare attach, levy

History and Etymology for garnish

Anglo-French garniss-, stem of garnir to garnish, give legal summons, warn, from Old French, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German warnōn to take heed

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