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

Argentine steak marinated in garlic, lime zest and Worcestershire sauce makes for a marvelous Milanese. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Seek and ye shall find plenty of excuses to explore Seven Reasons," 11 Sep. 2019 Put the cherries, wine, shallots, reserved orange zest and juice, bay leaf and remaining thyme into the roasting pan, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. ExpressNews.com, "Recipe: Cherry Roast Duck," 11 Sep. 2019 Pour ¾ cup of the sauce over the pork, then stir in the orange and lime zests. Christopher Kimball, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipes: Four perfect tacos featuring fish, turkey, or mojo pork," 4 Sep. 2019 Try adding lemon zest or fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or lavender to the dough to elevate this classic cookie. Kristen Farmer Hall, al, "Learn to make brioche and shortbread from a local baker," 27 Aug. 2019 This third in a series of State Fair exclusives is brewed with loose-leaf tea, lemon zest and lemon juice with a hint of sweetness. Jess Fleming, Twin Cities, "My 10 top picks from Minnesota State Fair’s new drink list," 21 Aug. 2019 Try their signature dish passatelli, in which thick, cylindrical pasta made with bread crumbs, eggs, parmesan, nutmeg and lemon zest is cooked in oodles of chicken broth. Prathap Nair, National Geographic, "Visit Italy’s mesmerizing city of mosaics," 20 Aug. 2019 In a medium bowl, mix together the blueberries, granulated sugar, lemon zest and cornstarch. Chris Ross, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Blueberry crumble is tasty gluten-free dessert," 13 Aug. 2019 Cocoa, star anise, and plum make this bold red the quintessential entree wine, complementing the richness of beef, the fattiness of butter, and the zest of lemon-laden veggies. Sara Mae Albert, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Plan a Casual Chic Dinner Party," 2 Aug. 2019

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

15 Sep 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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