\ 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



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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Toss the fruit with 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice and zest, cornstarch, and a pinch of kosher salt. Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, 28 July 2021 To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, stir together the mustard, dill, olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Dallas News, 21 June 2021 In the pitcher of a blender, combine the oil, lemon juice, honey, scallions, lemon zest, mustard, salt and pepper with the chopped scallions and blend until smooth. Washington Post, 24 June 2021 Friends describe Adrian Ballinger, a mountain guide who has summited Mount Everest eight times, as a magnetic person with a zest for life, and especially for coffee. Lois Smith Brady, New York Times, 24 Dec. 2021 In the bowl of a food processor, add feta, yogurt, cream cheese, 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon zest and juice, sea salt, and red pepper flakes. Dallas News, 17 Aug. 2021 In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, shoyu, lemon oil, lemon zest, and 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 July 2021 For Red Rock Brewing’s launch of Double White Rainbow earlier this year, Diaz used the double dry-hopped Imperial White India Pale Ale in vanilla cupcakes with lemon zest, and topped them with lemon cream cheese frosting with a rainbow sour belt. Jeff Parrott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 23 Nov. 2021 Slide the pizza onto a large platter and sprinkle with half the lemon zest, if using. Kate Krader, Fortune, 20 Nov. 2021

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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Last Updated

26 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Zest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zest. Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for zest



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


\ 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


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