\ 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



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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 Stir in the pesto, zucchini, yogurt (if using), zest and pepper. Washington Post, "Garlicky Broccoli and Beans With Pesto," 2 Aug. 2020 There is a zest for life, with an impulse to explore and expand. BostonGlobe.com, "Horoscope," 31 July 2020 Your zest for the novel and intriguing is fulfilled. BostonGlobe.com, "Horoscope," 9 July 2020 Avaline rosé comes from France and features notes of melon and citrus zest. Mary Honkus, PEOPLE.com, "Cameron Diaz Launched a New Wine Brand — and She Used a Baby-Naming Site to Name It!," 9 July 2020 Place the blueberries, syrup, vodka and lemon zest and juice in a food processor and blend until smooth. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "Recipe: Blueberry Sorbet," 24 June 2020 Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries tossed together with sugar, lemon juice and zest, cornstarch and cubed butter turns thick and jam-like after baking. Dallas News, "Pie is for summertime, too, especially this triple berry treat," 24 June 2020 In a bowl, stir the herbs with the garlic, olive oil, lemon zest and mustard until well combined. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "Recipe: Herb-crusted Pork Tenderloin with Salsa Verde," 10 June 2020 McKenney likes to add spices (pumpkin pie spice in the fall, for example), lemon zest or cocoa to a typical sugar cookie recipe that calls for creaming (mixing) butter and sugar together. NBC News, "Best cookie cutters and where to buy them, according to experts," 15 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for zest

Time Traveler

The first known use of zest was circa 1674

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Statistics for zest

Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Zest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zest. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for zest


How to pronounce zest (audio)

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on zest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for zest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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