zest

noun
\ 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

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Other Words from zest

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

Finely grate 2 teaspoon lemon zest into large bowl, then squeeze in 2 tablespoons juice and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons oil. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Brussels Sprouts with Pepitas and Figs," 27 Nov. 2018 Sausages have ranged from duck with cherries to lamb with tangerine zest, but options rotate daily. Jenna Scatena, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best BBQ in Austin," 27 Feb. 2018 Finely grate lemon zest onto pasta, then squeeze in juice and toss to coat. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Spaghetti with Bacon and Parmesan Brussels Sprouts," 12 Feb. 2018 Lemon zest brightens and lightens the entire dish, while white wine vinaigrette plays the perfect complement to the sweet peas and crunchy asparagus. Birmingham Magazine, AL.com, "2 spring-ready recipes for English peas," 13 Apr. 2018 Some lemon zest brightens the whole thing up and keeps the dish from feeling heavy. Emma Wartzman, Bon Appetit, "The Shrimpiest Shrimp Risotto That Ever Shrimped," 13 Mar. 2018 Season with lime juice, lime zest and salt to taste. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "The Recipe, The Legend: Bombay Bread Bar’s Black Pepper Shrimp," 12 July 2018 Add cream, hot sauce, cayenne, lemon zest, salt, chili powder, granulated garlic, paprika, black pepper, and fennel seeds and stir to combine. Bon Appetit, "Shrimp Hot Chicken-Style with Grits Croutons," 28 May 2018 Make pastry: Put flour, caster sugar, butter, salt and lemon zest in a food processor or electric mixture fitted with paddle attachment. Judy Walker, NOLA.com, "3 easy blueberry recipes: Pick 'em fresh to make sweet treats," 15 May 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

14 Apr 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 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.

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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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an act or instance of returning to life

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