Definition of zest
- adds zest to the performance
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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.
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.
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.
First Known Use: circa 1674See Words from the same year
: 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
What made you want to look up zest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
without deliberation, pause, or delay
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Odd Habits and Quirks Quiz