1. keen relish; hearty enjoyment; gusto.
  2. an agreeable or piquant flavor imparted to something.
  3. anything added to impart flavor, enhance one’s appreciation, etc.
  4. piquancy; interest; charm.
  5. liveliness or energy; animating spirit.
  6. the peel, especially the thin outer peel, of a citrus fruit used for flavoring: lemon zest.

verb (used with object)

  1. to give zest, relish, or piquancy to.


  1. invigorating or keen excitement or enjoymenta zest for living
  2. added interest, flavour, or charm; piquancyher presence gave zest to the occasion
  3. something added to give flavour or relish
  4. the peel or skin of an orange or lemon, used as flavouring in drinks, etc


  1. (tr) to give flavour, interest, or piquancy to

1670s, from French zeste “piece of orange or lemon peel used as a flavoring,” of unknown origin. Sense of “thing that adds flavor” is 1709; that of “keen enjoyment” first attested 1791.

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