mar·​i·​nate ˈmer-ə-ˌnāt How to pronounce marinate (audio)
marinated; marinating

transitive verb

: to steep (food such as meat, fish, or vegetables) in a marinade
… fillet of beef, marinated in rice wine with tamarind, cardamom and vegetable pilaf.Matthew Fort
The immense variety of salads, marinated vegetables and beans, frittatas and little tarts that appear on Italian antipasto tables and Spanish tapas bars also provide ideas for this approach.Susan Jane Cheney
often : to coat or cover (food) with herbs, spices, etc. and let rest before cooking or serving
… a new-fangled brochette of shrimp marinated in spices and skewered with sweet, creamy chunks of date. William Grimes
… herb-marinated cashew cheese served with garnishes like olives, honey and dates. Florence Fabricant
… had the genius idea to fill a tender crust with thinly sliced lemons marinated in sugar. Monica Micahel Willis

intransitive verb

: to become marinated
Have rabbit cleaned and cut into small serving pieces. Place in bowl. Pour burgundy over it. Allow to marinate for 6 hours.Maria Lo Pinto
Ceviche, a Peruvian appetizer also popular in the Caribbean and Central America, is prepared by combining bite-size pieces of raw fish with lime or lemon juice and allowing the mixture to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.Bon Appetit
marination noun

Examples of marinate in a Sentence

The recipe says that you should marinate the chicken overnight. The chicken should be allowed to marinate overnight.
Recent Examples on the Web The wings are cooked to a crisp, and marinated with a blend of chili, garlic and ginger. Lizzy Rosenberg, Peoplemag, 10 Oct. 2023 How to toast nuts on the stove, in the oven or in the microwave Tomato Bruschetta This version of the classic Italian antipasto calls for marinating the tomatoes in salt, garlic and olive oil and then serving them on bread that is lightly charred. Aaron Hutcherson, Washington Post, 14 Aug. 2023 The fruit is seasoned simply with fresh herbs and lemon zest, then left to marinate in its own juices. Jenna Sims, Southern Living, 4 Nov. 2023 Owing to events totally out of Theater J’s control, this is both a ripe and raw moment to unveil a satire exploring the complexity of Jewish identity in a society marinating in unanticipated quantities of hate. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 20 Oct. 2023 Any piece from the collection would be a welcome gift, but for somebody who entertains, the Heritage Rectangular Casserole baking dish offers a versatile vessel for pans of bread pudding, comforting chicken-and-biscuit pot pie, marinating steaks, and more. Carrie Honaker, Southern Living, 27 Sep. 2023 Like a traditional Japanese bath, the shower is outside of the bathtub, as the custom is to rinse off before getting into the soaking tub so that one is not marinating in one's dirt in the bath. Kimberley Mok, Treehugger, 22 Aug. 2023 The somewhat unconventional menu item features crispy chicken wings marinated in a sweet-and-spicy blend of chili, garlic, and ginger. Abigail Wilt, Southern Living, 22 Aug. 2023 Listen now to hear more tips from Chris and Mark like their favorite ways to cook lamb and best practices when marinating fish. The Bon Appétit Staff & Contributors, Bon Appétit, 18 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'marinate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


probably from Italian marinato, past participle of marinare to marinate, from marino

First Known Use

1645, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of marinate was in 1645

Dictionary Entries Near marinate

Cite this Entry

“Marinate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


mar·​i·​nate ˈmar-ə-ˌnāt How to pronounce marinate (audio)
marinated; marinating
: to soak in a marinade

More from Merriam-Webster on marinate

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