American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various pungent, aromatic plant substances, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, used to flavor foods or beverages.
- n. These substances considered as a group.
- n. Something that adds zest or flavor.
- n. A pungent aroma; a perfume.
- v. To season with spices.
- v. To add zest or flavor to.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Kind; sort; variety; species.
- n. Kind of thing; anything of the kind or class before indicated; such sort: used demonstratively or indefinitely.
- n. An exemplification of the kind of thing mentioned; specimen; sample; instance; piece.
- n. A characteristic touch or taste; a modicum, smack, or flavoring, as of something piquant or exciting to the mind: as, a spice of roguery or of adventure.
- n. A substance aromatic or pungent to the taste, or to both taste and smell; a drug; a savory or piquant condiment or eatable; a relish. The word in this sense formerly had a much wider range than at present (def, 6); it is still used in northern England as including sweetmeats, gingerbread, cake, and any kind of dried fruit.
- n. Now, specifically One of a class of aromatic vegetable condiments used for the seasoning of food, commonly in a pulverized state, as pepper, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves; collectively, such substances as a class: as, the trade in spices or spice.
- n. A piquant odor or odorous substance, especially of vegetable origin; a spicy smell.
- n. Figuratively, a piquant concomitant; an engaging accompaniment or incident; an attractive or enjoyable variation.
- n. Synonyms Relish, savor, dash.
- To prepare with a condiment or seasoning, especially of something aromatic or piquant; season or temper with a spice or spices: as, highly spiced food; to spice wine.
- To vary or diversify, as speech, with words or matter of a different kind or tenor; interlard; make spicy, piquant, or entertaining; as, to spice one's talk with oaths, quips, or scandal; to spice a sermon with anecdotes.
- n. A small stick.
- n. uncountable Plant matter (usually dried) used to season or flavour food.
- n. countable Any variety of spice.
- n. figuratively, uncountable Appeal, interest; an attribute that makes something appealing, interesting, or engaging.
- n. uncountable, Yorkshire Sweets, candy.
- v. transitive To add spice or spices to.
- n. nonce word Plural form of spouse.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. obsolete Species; kind.
- n. A vegetable production of many kinds, fragrant or aromatic and pungent to the taste, as pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, ginger, cloves, etc., which are used in cookery and to flavor sauces, pickles, etc.
- n. Figuratively, that which enriches or alters the quality of a thing in a small degree, as spice alters the taste of food; that which gives zest or pungency; a slight flavoring; a relish; hence, a small quantity or admixture; a sprinkling.
- v. To season with spice, or as with spice; to mix aromatic or pungent substances with; to flavor; to season.
- v. To fill or impregnate with the odor of spices.
- v. obsolete To render nice or dainty; hence, to render scrupulous.
- n. any of a variety of pungent aromatic vegetable substances used for flavoring food
- v. add herbs or spices to
- n. aromatic substances of vegetable origin used as a preservative
- v. make more interesting or flavorful
- n. the property of being seasoned with spice and so highly flavored
- Formed by analogy with mice as the plural of mouse by Robert A. Heinlein in Time Enough for Love. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French espice, from Late Latin speciēs, wares, spices, from Latin, kind; see species. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The word spice came from the medieval Latin species, which meant “kind of merchandise.””
“No. (2) The term spice means any aromatic vegetable substance in the whole, broken, or ground form, except for those substances which have been traditionally regarded as foods, such as onions, garlic and celery; whose significant function in food is seasoning rather than nutritional; that is true to name; and from which no portion of any volatile oil or other flavoring principle has been removed.”
“It was a proverbial saying in the school that Annie Forest was always in hot water; she was exceedingly daring, and loved what she called a spice of danger.”
“Travis Jackson walks through his modest ranch house, admiring the kitchen's built-in spice rack and the red-oak floors.”
“Your comparison between oil and spice is spot on -- I wish I'd thought of it!”
“The use of synthetic marijuana, which often is called "spice" after a popular brand name, is rising at an alarming rate across the military, commanders say.”
“There seemed a certain spice about it, such as men must feel who take delight in making pets of ferocious animals.”
“Looks yummy ... my pumpkin spice bread for tomorrow's playgroup didn't turn out so hot, so I was looking for somethiing else to try.”
“I threw in black pepper, garlic and oregano too instead of the pumpkin pie spice from the other recipe.”
“The spice is gone and now you are coddling each other - bleah!!!”
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