zest

noun
\ ˈzest \

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 \ adjective
zestfully \ ˈzest-​fə-​lē \ adverb
zestfulness noun
zestless \ ˈzest-​ləs \ 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

Brush hot flatbread with remaining oil and sprinkle with lime zest. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "The Easiest Way to Eat More Healthy Fish," 16 Jan. 2019 Arrange on platter, drizzle with lime dressing and sprinkle with lime zest and pomegranate seeds. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Winter Citrus Fruit Salad," 28 Nov. 2018 Pile the cauliflower on a serving plate and garnish with the lime zest and fresh herbs. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "Be Ambitious This Thanksgiving: 3 Bold Recipes From One of L.A.’s Most Talked About Restaurants," 2 Nov. 2018 Drizzle salad with remaining tablespoon oil and sprinkle with lemon zest, red pepper, and flaked salt before serving. Anna Helm Baxter, Country Living, "Marinated Mushroom-and-Charred Broccolini Salad," 31 Oct. 2018 Marinate the fish and chickpeas: In a small bowl, mix the first 6 ingredients together with the lemon zest. Yotam Ottolenghi, The Seattle Times, "Yet another way to eat your spinach: try the Tunisian condiment pkaila," 18 Sep. 2018 Serve sprinkled with orange zest, pistachios, and feta if desired. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Swiss Chard and Beets," 7 Jan. 2019 In small skillet, toast fennel seeds and orange zest until lightly browned and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Fennel Roasted Chicken and Peppers," 21 Dec. 2018 Combine cream, orange zest and tonka bean; heat to infuse. 2. Bethany Jean Clement, The Seattle Times, "How to make the best banana cream pie ever," 4 Dec. 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

17 Feb 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 \

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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