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

Pumpkin spice season may be right around the corner, but that doesn’t mean we’re trading in our cold brew for hot coffee quite yet. Christina Butan, PEOPLE.com, "Consumer Reports Just Crowned This Automatic Cold Brew Coffee Maker the Best of 2019," 28 Aug. 2019 Maximize their sweet-tart flavor with salt, spice and crunch. Susan Clotfelter, The Know, "Bored with raisins? Try these 5 “fancy” trail mix recipes," 27 Aug. 2019 Christiansen, who’s not generally one for spice, surprised even herself with her preference for the heat-forward sammie. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Popeyes chicken sandwich sweeps Chick-fil-A in Sentinel staffer taste test," 26 Aug. 2019 Somewhat disappointingly, the new product, due on grocery shelves this fall, won’t actually contain any pumpkin, only spices and some sugar. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 22 Aug. 2019 The opening scent is solar spices and lily of the valley, the heart is nude magnolia, jasmine, and peony while the finishing notes are Tahitian vanilla, vibrant amber, and musk. Allure, "Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner Confirm Their KKW x Kylie Fragrances Are Launching in August," 20 Aug. 2019 And rounding out the collection is The Bates' Tea, premium plum pudding black tea with vanilla, baked fruit, and spices. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Downton Abbey Movie Teas Are Here and Our Mugs Are Ready," 15 Aug. 2019 This counter-service restaurant offers a mix of flavors and spices from two Caribbean islands — the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Camila Vallejo, courant.com, "El Mercado’s food court: A hidden gem with Colombian, Dominican, Peruvian and Mexican fare," 14 Aug. 2019 Herbs and spices have also been shown to boost satiety. Cynthia Sass, Mph, Health.com, "What Is the Ayurvedic Diet—and Can It Help You Lose Weight?," 12 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The menu changes often, but appetizers with staying power include housemade sausage, classic mussels, and French feta topped with pistachios, dates, capers, and spiced honey and served with coriander lavash. al, "Take a culinary tour of the world in Crestline Village," 22 Aug. 2019 The best of ideas will fall flat if no one is listening so spice up your presentation to get everyone's attention. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for June 24, 2019: Gemini, consider the source; Virgo, make them an offer they can’t refuse," 24 June 2019 The sausage was spiced with black pepper, garlic, mustard seed, and salt and had even earned its own name, the Albright special. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, "This is the True Story Behind the BBQ Barn of Beasley, Texas," 22 Aug. 2019 Most of what’s new in the script amounts to extensions of the comic interludes, and some of these attempts to spice up the proceedings fall a bit flat. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Conservative Pride of The Lion King," 11 July 2019 Some couples really find a way of spicing things up while apart. NBC News, "Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband live apart and swear by it. Can it work for you?," 13 June 2019 Rousteing and casting director Jess Hallett are always in search of ways to spice things up, and the addition of Delevingne’s unconventional walk provided a welcome change of pace. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Cara Delevingne Opens Balmain With a Lip-Synched Tribute to Prince," 28 Sep. 2018 Investors are hopeful that Beijing will try to spice up the flagging Chinese economy this fall with a big stimulus effort, just as in 2009 and 2015. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "This China Stimulus Won’t Power Copper Higher," 10 Oct. 2018 There are two new exclusive styles!—to the woman trying to spice up her everyday jeans. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Madewell’s Karen Walker Collaboration Is Stylish and Size-Inclusive," 13 Aug. 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

2 Sep 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

readily or continually undergoing change

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
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!