from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.
  • transitive v. To season with spices.
  • transitive v. To add zest or flavor to.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plant matter (usually dried) used to season or flavour food.
  • n. Any variety of spice.
  • n. Appeal, interest; an attribute that makes something appealing, interesting, or engaging.
  • n. Sweets, candy.
  • v. To add spice or spices to.
  • n. Plural form of spouse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • transitive v. To season with spice, or as with spice; to mix aromatic or pungent substances with; to flavor; to season.
  • transitive v. To fill or impregnate with the odor of spices.
  • transitive v. To render nice or dainty; hence, to render scrupulous.

from The 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.
  • 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.

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

  • 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


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)
From Old French espice (modern épice), from Late Latin (plural) species ("spices, goods, wares"), from Latin (singular) spĕciēs ("kind, sort"). (Wiktionary)
Formed by analogy with mice as the plural of mouse by Robert A. Heinlein in Time Enough for Love. (Wiktionary)



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