Definition of zest
zestfulplay \ˈzest-fəl\ adjective
zestfullyplay \ˈzest-fə-lē\ adverb
zestlessplay \ˈzest-ləs\ adjective
zest was our Word of the Day on 08/13/2016. Hear the podcast!
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.
Did You Know?
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.
Origin and Etymology of zest
obsolete French (now zeste), orange or lemon peel (used as flavoring)
First Known Use: circa 1674
ZEST Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of zest for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of zest for Students
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.
History for zest
The English word zest came from a French word zeste that means “the peel of an orange or a lemon.” Because their flavor made food more tasty and enjoyable, lemon and orange peels were used to season food. In time the word zest came to mean any quality that made life more enjoyable.
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