\ 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


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

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Other Words from spice


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for spice

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The thrum of voices; the selling of spices and pots. . Los Angeles Times, "This Iranian scarf seller has been beaten and humiliated. Yet he endures," 30 Jan. 2020 In fact, many of the spices on sale in Zanzibar’s markets are imported. Sarah Khan, New York Times, "Zanzibar in the Rain," 22 Jan. 2020 The rub, which is typically made of spices and herbs, will add a big taste punch. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Great Ways to Brine a Turkey," 10 Jan. 2020 Select a good chorizo — my preference is one with a robust blend of spices. Nik Sharma, SFChronicle.com, "A sheet-pan chicken dinner that bastes itself," 27 Dec. 2019 In goes an array of spices and herbs, a drizzle of olive oil or a dollop of mayo, and some garlic. Dayana Sarkisova, Washington Post, "Where there’s smoke, there’s an Armenian blistered eggplant dip," 26 Dec. 2019 The combination of these spices tend to have a particularly heartwarming effect when cooked. Jais Tollette, USA TODAY, "How to make mulled wine in an Instant Pot," 23 Dec. 2019 From hot chilis to fiery curries, rosé has enough backbone to stand up to a plethora of spices. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "The Best Foods to Pair with Champagne," 19 Dec. 2019 The real surprise is the number of unusual spices in the flavor profile. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Exploring Cincinnati’s culinary scene," 1 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Mac Rebennack, aka Dr. John, spiced his long performing and recording career with a funky New Orleans voodoo vibe. BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 31 Dec. 2019 It is spiced with chamomile, coriander and orange zest. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Stout It Out Loud, Tartine Belgian beer dinner, R. Shea events, more - beer calendar," 16 Dec. 2019 Nuts: Roasted, candied, marcona almonds, herbed, spiced, smoked — there are a lot of nuts to choose from, but always check for allergies. Katie Workman, NBC News, "Think beyond your basic pepperoni and cheddar. Here's how to build the snacky graze board of your dreams.," 12 Dec. 2019 Try the cafe de olla (Mexican spiced coffee), made with a special recipe of Mexican ground coffee, cinnamon, and piloncillo, raw dark sugar. Joseph Hernandez, Condé Nast Traveler, "Christmas in Chicago: 23 Festive Things to Do This Season," 5 Dec. 2019 While the labels look similar, pumpkin pie mix is pre-sweetened and spiced, whereas solid-pack pumpkin puree is 100% pumpkin. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Chili secret: Pumpkin puree gives it a creamy texture and plenty of health benefits," 14 Nov. 2019 Our favorite was a juicy, nicely spiced barbacoa, topped with plenty of rich avocado salsa and crisp pickled onions. Jess Fleming, Twin Cities, "Mean Miner’s brings a mean taco to Eagan," 13 Nov. 2019 Strain spiced cream mixture, discarding solids; return liquid to pot. Taylor Murray, Country Living, "Old-Fashioned Eggnog," 30 Oct. 2019 Yes, the season for chunky scarves, pumpkin-spiced everything and fantasy football is upon us. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "The first day of fall is here. Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know," 23 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of spice


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spice


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

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Time Traveler for spice

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for spice

Last Updated

4 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spice?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=s&file=spice001. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for spice


How to pronounce spice (audio)

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



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

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


\ 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.


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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on spice

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spice

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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