\ ˈzest How to pronounce zest (audio) \

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

Other Words from zest

zestful \ ˈzest-​fəl How to pronounce zest (audio) \ adjective
zestfully \ ˈzest-​fə-​lē How to pronounce zest (audio) \ adverb
zestfulness noun
zestless \ ˈzest-​ləs How to pronounce zest (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for zest



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Zest and Cooking

Zest can spice up your life—fitting for a word that English acquired from the world of cooking. Zest comes from French zeste, the name for orange or lemon peel used to flavor food or drinks. English speakers adopted the French meaning and developed an additional one referring 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.
Recent Examples on the Web Add the oil, lemon zest and juice, and stir to combine. Ellie Krieger, Washington Post, 21 July 2022 Toss at the table with a simple dressing of olive oil with lemon zest and juice. New York Times, 20 July 2022 Serve immediately, with more Parmesan, black pepper and a sprinkling of lemon zest. Charlotte Druckman, WSJ, 5 Jan. 2022 They sun-dry fresh grapes and candy strips of fragrant citrus zest. Washington Post, 28 Nov. 2021 The mouthfeel is round and spicy, and the whisky finishes with a refreshing citrus zest. Dan Dunn, Robb Report, 12 Jan. 2021 Add vanilla and zest and continue beating for another minute. Elizabeth Karmel, Forbes, 13 June 2022 Add sour cream, oil, zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and lemon extract, mix until well combined. Julia O'malley, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Mar. 2022 Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grapefruit zest. G. Daniela Galarza, Washington Post, 2 June 2022 See More

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.

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)

Learn More About zest

Listen to Our Podcast About zest

Dictionary Entries Near zest




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for zest

Last Updated

25 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Zest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zest. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for zest


\ ˈzest How to pronounce zest (audio) \

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on zest

Nglish: Translation of zest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of zest for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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