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

Whisk in the lime zest and juice, agave syrup, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Christopher Kimball, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipes: Three refreshing salads to beat the heat," 17 July 2019 The zest can deliver a concentrated punch of citrus, as well as a delicate, almost floral scent. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, "Sassy, salty preserved lemons belong in your pantry. Here’s how to use them.," 15 July 2019 Stir in the lemon zest and juice, oil, parsley and dill, tossing until well incorporated. Julia Turshen, Twin Cities, "How cooking for charity made me a better cook at home," 4 July 2019 His 37 years have taken their toll on the zest in his game and he's developed an aversion to turf over time. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "Zlatan Ibrahimovic, larger than life MLS star, is coming to Cincinnati. You're welcome.," 21 June 2019 Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from lemon and finely chop. Kate Merker, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Gremolata? Here's Why You Should Add It to Every Meal," 4 June 2019 One of the most surprising flavors that came through according to Carmelo was the lemon zest! Jill Durovsik, Philly.com, "Marc Vetri joins the young chefs as they learn to make spicy roasted broccoli pasta," 22 Mar. 2018 Once all butter is incorporated, remove from heat and add white pepper, Meyer lemon zest, chives, and salmon roe. National Geographic, "Grilled King Salmon," 2 July 2019 Make the filling: Finely grate 1 tablespoon zest from the limes into a large bowl, then halve the limes and squeeze ½ cup juice. Genevieve Ko, latimes.com, "The best Key lime pie recipe? It’s from Nicole Rucker of Fiona bakery," 2 July 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

21 Jul 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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