spice

noun
\ ˈspīs How to pronounce spice (audio) \

Definition of spice

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of various aromatic vegetable products (such as pepper or nutmeg) used to season or flavor foods
2a archaic : a small portion, quantity, or admixture : dash
b : something that gives zest or relish variety's the very spice of life— William Cowper
3 : a pungent or fragrant odor : perfume

spice

verb
spiced; spicing

Definition of spice (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to season with spices
2 : to add zest or relish to cynicism spiced with humor— J. W. Dawson often used with up

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from spice

Noun

spiceless \ ˈspīs-​ləs How to pronounce spiceless (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for spice

Synonyms: Noun

aroma, attar (also otto), balm, bouquet, fragrance, fragrancy, incense, perfume, redolence, scent

Synonyms: Verb

flavor, lace, savor (also savour), season

Antonyms: Noun

fetor, malodor, reek, stench, stink

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of spice in a Sentence

Noun

The soup needs a little more spice. a cologne for men that captures all of the spice of the sea

Verb

I spiced the chicken with ginger. spice the stew with more pepper
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There’s a strange phenomenon that happens between Labor Day and Black Friday, in which supermarkets, menus, and even drugstores are suddenly riddled with an influx of pumpkin spice–flavored products. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Pumpkin Health Benefits Every Fall Lover Needs to Know About," 14 June 2019 Their Salvadoran chorizo is a strongly seasoned ground pork made with vinegar, wine, achiote (annatto powder), green peppers, pumpkin seeds and a variety of spices, among other ingredients. Karla T. Vasquez, SFChronicle.com, "How Salvadoran sausages came to the Bay Area," 7 June 2019 Sfiha, ground meat blended with pomegranate molasses and a pantry-ful of spices, vacillates brightly between sweet and sour. Patricia Escárcega, latimes.com, "Review: At Forn Al Hara in Anaheim, it’s all about the flatbreads and cheese boats," 5 June 2019 Day two began with the Haldi ceremony, in which the bride and groom are covered with a turmeric paste by family and friends — the yellow hue of the spice is believed to purify the souls of the bride and groom-to-be. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "Influencer Diipa Khosla Wore 9 Different Looks for Her 4-Day Indian Wedding," 8 Feb. 2019 With a bit of ghee, this classic Indian dish, which is made from lentils, broth, and lots of spices will taste way more authentic. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "Here's How to Make Your Own Ghee," 1 Feb. 2019 Put molto garlic, spice in your homemade spaghetti sauce. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'Pavarotti': 5 life lessons the passionate tenor taught us in the new Ron Howard documentary," 6 June 2019 Combine the cacao nibs and salt in a spice grinder, small food processor or blender (or use a mortar and pestle) and process until finely ground (a few small pieces here and there are fine). Ben Mims, latimes.com, "Culinary SOS: Botanica’s Gluten-Free Buckwheat Brownies," 5 June 2019 However, as many as 600,000 devotees come especially to Jejuri to cover the town — and each other — in golden swirls of turmeric, a mild, earthy spice that in its powdered form is a vital component of Indian cuisine. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Hindu festival showers Indian town with turmeric," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Still, there’s plenty of magic to be had in autumn — a campfire crackling on a chilly evening, an apple pie spiced just right with cinnamon, or, say, a wedding. Beth Dreher, Woman's Day, "Meet the Woman Who Stands In at LGBTQ Weddings," 4 May 2019 Another stand-out dishes of the weekend was a Persian chicken dish with sweet potato and spiced yoghurt. Vogue, "An Easter Weekend in the English Countryside With Alice Naylor-Leyland," 22 Apr. 2019 From a legendary zinfandel producer in Dry Creek Valley, this zinfandel-dominant blend was full of dark fruit, herbs, smoke and a bright streak of acidity, plus spice and zesty black pepper on its long finish. Michael Austin, chicagotribune.com, "15 zinfandels to drink with whatever meat you're grilling," 23 May 2018 Strain spiced cream mixture, discarding spices; return to pot. Kate Merker And Taylor Murray, Country Living, "Gingerbread Eggnog," 11 Dec. 2018 Strain spiced cream into a large microwave-safe bowl. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Eggnog Mousse Snowmen," 29 Nov. 2018 The indie band spiced things up and performed two new songs during their show in Zagreb, Croatia. Alessandra Rincón, Billboard, "The National Perform New Songs 'Quiet Light' and 'So Far So Fast' in Croatia: Watch," 12 July 2018 Instead of following your usual weekly routine, spice it up and try one (or all) of these events happening this week in the southern suburbs of Milwaukee. 1. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "5 Things-to-do this week in the southern suburbs," 9 July 2018 In Northern Kentucky football, when only a small percentage of regular-season games impact the playoff seeding, a rivalry can spice up an ordinary week. James Weber, Cincinnati.com, "A look at Northern Kentucky's most compelling high school football rivalries," 3 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of spice

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spice

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French espece, espis, from Late Latin species product, wares, drugs, spices, from Latin, appearance, species — more at species

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about spice

Statistics for spice

Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spice

The first known use of spice was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for spice

spice

noun

English Language Learners Definition of spice

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a substance (such as pepper or nutmeg) that is used in cooking to add flavor to food and that comes from a dried plant and is usually a powder or seed
: something that adds interest or excitement

spice

verb

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

: to flavor (food) with spices
: to add interest or excitement to (something)

spice

noun
\ ˈspīs How to pronounce spice (audio) \

Kids Definition of spice

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a seasoning (as pepper or nutmeg) that comes from a dried plant part and that is usually a powder or seed
2 : something that adds interest My boring routine needs some spice.

spice

verb
spiced; spicing

Kids Definition of spice (Entry 2 of 2)

: to add something that gives flavor or interest What did you spice the stew with? A new hairstyle spiced up her image.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on spice

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spice

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spice

Spanish Central: Translation of spice

Nglish: Translation of spice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spice for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spice

Comments on spice

What made you want to look up spice? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!