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spice Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun aromatic substances of vegetable origin used as a preservative
  2. noun any of a variety of pungent aromatic vegetable substances used for flavoring food
  3. noun the property of being seasoned with spice and so highly flavored
    spiciness; spicery.
  4. verb make more interesting or flavorful
    spice up.
    • Spice up the evening by inviting a belly dancer
  5. verb add herbs or spices to
    spice up; zest.

Spice noun
OE. spice, spece, spice, species, OF. espice, espece, F. épice spice, espèce species, fr. L. species particular sort or kind, a species, a sight, appearance, show, LL., spices, drugs, etc., of the same sort, fr. L. specere to look. See Spy, and cf. Species.
  1. Species; kind. Obs.
    The spices of penance ben three. Chaucer.
    Abstain you from all evil spice. Wyclif (1. Thess,v. 22).
    Justice, although it be but one entire virtue, yet is described in two kinds of spices. The one is named justice distributive, the other is called commutative. Sir T. Elyot.
  2. 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.
    Hast thou aught in thy purse [bag] any hot spices? Piers Plowman.
  3. 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; as, a spice of mischief.
    So much of the will, with a spice of the willful. Coleridge.
Spice transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Spiced ; past participle & verbal noun Spicing
  1. To season with spice, or as with spice; to mix aromatic or pungent substances with; to flavor; to season; as, to spice wine; to spice one's words with wit.
    She 'll receive thee, but will spice thy bread With flowery poisons. Chapman.
  2. To fill or impregnate with the odor of spices.
    In the spiced Indian air, by night. Shak.
  3. To render nice or dainty; hence, to render scrupulous. Obs. "A spiced conscience." Chaucer.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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