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
3 : garnishee

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

Here, inventive takes on classic Chinese favorites such as Shanghai steamed dumplings infused with ginger and stir fried market vegetables garnished with truffle are presented with meticulous detail and in-depth explanations from wait staff. Suyin Haynes, Time, "Fights Over 'Authentic' Chinese Food Have a Long and Complicated History. Now They're Tearing the Culinary World Apart," 8 July 2019 Just as revivifying is tuna crudo and compressed grilled watermelon in a fire-and-ice salad slicked with Thai chile oil and garnished with airy chicharrones. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "At Cherry, where’s there’s smoke, there’s a fired-up chef," 5 July 2019 The cocktail is made with Kikori Rice Whiskey, Clement coconut, lemon, black sesame and Japanese chili, garnished with red, white and blue unconsecrated communion wafers. San Diego Union-Tribune, "The Dish: 34 places you can eat, drink and hang out this Independence Day," 27 June 2019 Drinks: Sip a bloody mary garnished with Spanish olives, sausage and semisweet peppers ($12) or a mimosa ($10). Samantha Nelson, chicagotribune.com, "13 new summer brunches in Chicago," 17 June 2019 Conversation and prosecco flowed for the rest of the night, punctuated by circulating platters of bite-sized avocado toast and crisped potatoes garnished with truffle aioli. Jenna Adrian-diaz, Vogue, "Patti Smith, Keegan-Micheal Key, and Martha Stewart Joined Director Ron Howard for a Special Screening of Pavarotti," 29 May 2019 Serve vegetables and chicken garnished with cilantro and reserved sauce alongside. Taylor Murray, Country Living, "Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken With Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus," 21 Feb. 2019 Divide among glasses, then garnish with cucumber slices. Do Ahead: Slushy can be made 1 hour ahead. Molly Baz, Bon Appetit, "Chill-Out Honeydew Cucumber Slushy," 25 June 2018 That bit of background makes the bright yellow mohinga, garnished with banana stems, even more enticing. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Tom Sietsema’s 7 favorite places to eat (and drink) right now — plus one to avoid," 24 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sprinkle with olive oil and parsley and garnish with a few olives. Sheryl Julian, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipe: Open a can of white beans, add harissa and olive oil, and puree. You’ll look brilliant.," 8 July 2019 Top cocktail with sparkling wine, garnish with a fresh strawberry and enjoy! CBS News, "The Dish: Luke Holden of Luke's Lobster shares his signature recipes," 6 July 2019 Each Wednesday, Deviant announces its weekend lineup on social media, building anticipation for treats like mango blackberry, cherry bourbon, s’mores, tiramisu, churro and strawberry champagne, all with housemade fillings, toppings and garnishes. Leeanne Griffin, courant.com, "Deviant Donuts are bold and beautiful — and just a little bit over-the-top," 28 June 2019 Spoon some of the carrot juices over the burrata and garnish, if desired, with fresh parsley or thyme leaves. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, "Give local carrots a luxurious twist with creamy burrata cheese and herbs," 27 June 2019 The intentionally kitschy atmosphere is a great place to cool off with air-conditioning while taking down some spirited mocktails with flavors like roseberry and peach, served with extravagant garnishes. Jenna Scatena, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Doha Is Much More Than a Stopover Destination," 4 June 2019 The other new pieces include a front splitter with extended side pieces, different side skirts, end plates for the rear diffuser, a rear spoiler, and door garnishes that cover up the fake side vents. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, "Toyota Releases TRD Performance Styling Parts for the 2020 Supra," 20 May 2019 Drizzle with some of the salsa and garnish with lime wedges. Ben Mims, latimes.com, "Skirt Steak with Marjoram and Lime Salsa," 26 June 2019 Before serving, garnish with sliced green chiles and chopped cilantro. Nik Sharma, SFChronicle.com, "Recipe: Macher Malaikari (Fish in Coconut Milk)," 21 June 2019

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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Statistics for garnish

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for garnish

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

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More Definitions for garnish

garnish

verb

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)

garnish

transitive verb
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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