Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To enhance in appearance by adding decorative touches; embellish: a coat that was garnished with a fur collar.
  • transitive v. To decorate (prepared food or drink) with small colorful or savory items: garnished the potatoes with parsley.
  • transitive v. Law To garnishee.
  • n. Ornamentation; embellishment.
  • n. An embellishment added to a prepared food or drink for decoration or added flavor.
  • n. Slang An unwarranted fee, such as one extorted from a new prisoner by a jailer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To decorate with ornamental appendages; to set off; to adorn; to embellish; as, all within with flowers was garnished.
  • v. To ornament, as a dish, with something laid about it; as, a dish garnished with parsley.
  • v. To furnish; to supply.
  • v. To fit with fetters.
  • v. To warn by garnishment; to give notice to; to garnishee.
  • n. a set of dishes, often pewter, containing a dozen pieces of several types.
  • n. pewter vessels in general.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Something added for embellishment; decoration; ornament; also, dress; garments, especially such as are showy or decorated.
  • n. Something set round or upon a dish as an embellishment, such as parsley. See Garnish, v. t., 2.
  • n. Fetters.
  • n. A fee; specifically, in English jails, formerly an unauthorized fee demanded by the old prisoners of a newcomer.
  • transitive v. To decorate with ornamental appendages; to set off; to adorn; to embellish.
  • transitive v. To ornament, as a dish, with something laid about it.
  • transitive v. To furnish; to supply.
  • transitive v. To fit with fetters.
  • transitive v. To warn by garnishment; to give notice to; to garnishee. See Garnishee, v. t.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 1. To fortify; defend.
  • To adorn; decorate with ornaments or appendages; set off.
  • To fit with fetters.
  • To furnish; supply; garrison.
  • In cookery, to ornament, as a dish, with something laid round it.
  • In law, to warn; give notice.
  • n. Ornament; something added for embellishment; decoration; dress; array.
  • n. In cookery, something placed round or added to a principal dish at table, either for embellishment merely or for use as a relish.
  • n. A set of dishes, plates, and the like, for table use.
  • n. Fetters.
  • n. A fee, as to a servant; specifically, money formerly paid by a prisoner on his going to prison as a fee to fellow-prisoners: now illegal.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. decorate (food), as with parsley or other ornamental foods
  • n. any decoration added as a trimming or adornment
  • v. take a debtor's wages on legal orders, such as for child support
  • n. something (such as parsley) added to a dish for flavor or decoration

Etymologies

Middle English garnishen, from Old French garnir, garniss-, of Germanic origin; see wer-4 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English garnischen, from Old French garniss-, stem of certain forms of the verb garnir, guarnir, warnir ("to provide, furnish, avert, defend, warn, fortify, garnish"), from a conflation of Old Frankish *warnjan (“to refuse, deny”) and *warnōn (“warn, protect, prepare, beware, guard oneself”), from Proto-Germanic *warnijanan (“to worry, care, heed”) and Proto-Germanic *warnōnan (“to warn”); both from Proto-Indo-European *wer- (“to defend, protect, cover”). Cognate with Old English wiernan ("to withhold, be sparing of, deny, refuse, reject, decline, forbid, prevent from, avert") and warnian ("to warn, caution, take warning, take heed, guard oneself against, deny"). More at warn. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Contronymic in the sense: add-on vs. take away (as wages).

    January 27, 2007