AskDefine | Define zest

The Collaborative Dictionary

Zest \Zest\ (z[e^]st), n. [F. zeste, probably fr. L. schistos split, cleft, divided, Gr. ?, from ? to split, cleave. Cf. Schism.] [1913 Webster]
A piece of orange or lemon peel, or the aromatic oil which may be squeezed from such peel, used to give flavor to liquor, etc. [1913 Webster]
Hence, something that gives or enhances a pleasant taste, or the taste itself; an appetizer; also, keen enjoyment; relish; gusto. [1913 Webster] Almighty Vanity! to thee they owe Their zest of pleasure, and their balm of woe. --Young. [1913 Webster] Liberality of disposition and conduct gives the highest zest and relish to social intercourse. --Gogan. [1913 Webster]
The woody, thick skin inclosing the kernel of a walnut. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]
Zest \Zest\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Zested; p. pr. & vb. n. Zesting.]
To cut into thin slips, as the peel of an orange, lemon, etc.; to squeeze, as peel, over the surface of anything. [1913 Webster]
To give a relish or flavor to; to heighten the taste or relish of; as, to zest wine. --Gibber. [1913 Webster]

Word Net



1 vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment [syn: gusto, relish, zestfulness]
2 a tart spiciness [syn: nip, piquance, piquancy, tang, tanginess] v : add herbs or spices to [syn: spice, spice up]

Moby Thesaurus

activity, alacrity, amusement, animal pleasure, animal spirits, animation, anxiety, anxiousness, appetite, ardor, avidity, avidness, bite, bliss, bodily pleasure, breathless impatience, brio, briskness, capersomeness, carnal delight, cheerful readiness, coltishness, comfort, content, contentment, coziness, creature comforts, delectation, delight, eagerness, ease, ecstasy, edge, elan, elation, endpleasure, enjoyment, entertainment, enthusiasm, esprit, euphoria, exuberance, fervor, flavor, forepleasure, forwardness, friskiness, frolicsomeness, fruition, fun, gaiety, gamesomeness, gayness, ginger, glow, gratification, great satisfaction, gust, gusto, guts, heart, heartiness, hearty enjoyment, hotness, hunger, impatience, impetuosity, impetus, intellectual pleasure, interest, joie de vivre, keen desire, keen pleasure, keenness, kick, kicks, life, liveliness, lustiness, luxury, mettle, nip, nippiness, palate, passion, pepper, pepperiness, perkiness, pertness, physical pleasure, piquancy, piss and vinegar, playfulness, pleasure, promptness, punch, pungency, quickness, quiet pleasure, raciness, readiness, relish, robustness, rollicksomeness, rompishness, satisfaction, savor, self-gratification, self-indulgence, sensual pleasure, sensuous pleasure, sexual pleasure, skittishness, snap, snappiness, spice, spiciness, spirit, spiritedness, spirits, sportiveness, sprightliness, sweetness of life, tang, tanginess, thirst, titillation, verve, vigor, vim, vitality, vivacity, voluptuousness, warmth, well-being, zeal, zestfulness, zing, zip



French zeste. Of unknown origin. The original meaning is 2. Meaning 1. ("enthusiasm") is metaphorical; confer to give a zest to, meaning "to add piquancy to", which can be done with a zest (meaning 2.).



  1. Enthusiasm.
    Auntie Mame had a real zest for life.
  2. The outer skin of a citrus fruit, used as a flavouring.


  1. To scrape the zest from a fruit
  2. To make more zesty


outer skin of citrus
  • German: Würze (2)
  • Spanish: ralladura
  • Finnish: sitrushedelmän (ulko)kuori

Related terms




  1. zest (2)
Zest may refer to:
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