zest

noun
\ ˈzest \

Definition of zest

1 : a piece of the peel of a citrus fruit (such as an orange or lemon) used as flavoring
2 : an enjoyably exciting quality : piquancy adds zest to the performance
3 : keen enjoyment : relish, gusto has a zest for living

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Other Words from zest

zestful \ ˈzest-​fəl \ adjective
zestfully \ ˈzest-​fə-​lē \ adverb
zestfulness noun
zestless \ ˈzest-​ləs \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for zest

Synonyms

nip, piquancy, pungency, spice, tang, zing

Antonyms

insipidity

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Zest and Cooking

Zest can spice up your life—fitting for a word that we learned from the world of cooking. We borrowed the term from a source that has given English speakers many culinary delights: French cuisine. The French used the form zest (nowadays they spell it zeste) to refer to orange or lemon peel used to flavor food or drinks. English speakers developed a taste for the fruit flavoring and adopted the term zest in the late 1600s. By the early 1700s, they had started using the word to refer to any quality that adds enjoyment to something in the same way that the zest of an orange or lemon adds flavor to food.

Examples of zest in a Sentence

His humor added zest to the performance. His humor added a certain zest to the performance. The recipe calls for a tablespoon of lemon zest.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, fresh lemon juice and remaining lemon zest. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Lemon Thyme Coin Cookies," 30 Nov. 2018 Remove gratin from oven and sprinkle lemon juice, zest and parsley over top. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "Why Mayonnaise is Magic," 9 Nov. 2018 Add the lemon juice, zest, and yolks and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken -- about 10 minutes. Country Living, "Pie Recipes," 7 Feb. 2018 Combine yogurt, olive oil, sugar, orange juice, and orange zest into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and beat until incorporated. Kelsey Kloss, ELLE Decor, "3 Father's Day Cupcakes To Match His Favorite Drink," 14 June 2016 Using a slotted spoon, transfer sage and garlic to a paper towel–lined plate, then transfer oil into a small bowl and stir in lemon zest. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Risotto with Sweet Potato, Lemon, and Sage," 16 Aug. 2018 In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, lemon zest and kosher salt to taste. Melissa Clark, charlotteobserver, "Diving into the delicious mess that is the artichoke | Charlotte Observer," 15 May 2018 Stir in lemon zest to bowl and whisk until blended throughout. Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press, "Five finalists vie for 'Best Cupcake Ever' in contest to support literacy," 22 Apr. 2018 Stir in lemon zest and butter until melted and smooth. Charlyne Mattox, Country Living, "Meyer Lemon Pie," 12 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zest.' 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 zest

circa 1674, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for zest

obsolete French (now zeste), orange or lemon peel (used as flavoring)

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Dictionary Entries near zest

zero-zero

Zervanism

Zervanite

zest

zester

zest for life

zesty

Statistics for zest

Last Updated

6 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for zest

The first known use of zest was circa 1674

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More Definitions for zest

zest

noun

English Language Learners Definition of zest

: lively excitement : a feeling of enjoyment and enthusiasm

: a lively quality that increases enjoyment, excitement, or energy

: small pieces of the skin of a lemon, orange, or lime that are used to flavor food

zest

noun
\ ˈzest \

Kids Definition of zest

1 : a piece of the peel of a citrus fruit (as an orange or lemon) used to flavor foods
2 : an enjoyable or exciting quality Her humor added zest to the presentation.
3 : keen enjoyment They ate with zest.

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More from Merriam-Webster on zest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for zest

Spanish Central: Translation of zest

Nglish: Translation of zest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of zest for Arabic Speakers

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