Last modified on 13 January 2015, at 21:16



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Alteration of reles (scent, taste, aftertaste), from Old French relais, reles (something remaining, that which is left behind), from relaisser (to leave behind).



relish (plural relishes)

  1. A pleasing taste; flavor that gratifies the palate; hence, enjoyable quality; power of pleasing.
    • 1748. David Hume. Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral. London: Oxford University Press, 1973. § 12.
      A Laplander or Negro has no notion of the relish of wine.
    • Milton
      Much pleasure we have lost while we abstained / From this delightful fruit, nor known till now / True relish, tasting.
    • Addison
      When liberty is gone, / Life grows insipid, and has lost its relish.
  2. Savor; quality; characteristic tinge.
    • Alexander Pope
      It preserves some relish of old writing.
  3. A taste for; liking; appetite; fondness.
    • Macaulay
      a relish for whatever was excellent in arts
    • Cowper
      I have a relish for moderate praise, because it bids fair to be judicious.
  4. That which is used to impart a flavor; specifically, something taken with food to render it more palatable or to stimulate the appetite; a condiment.
  5. A cooked or pickled sauce, usually made with vegetables or fruits, generally used as a condiment.
  6. In a wooden frame, the projection or shoulder at the side of, or around, a tenon, on a tenoned piece.




relish (third-person singular simple present relishes, present participle relishing, simple past and past participle relished)

  1. (obsolete, intransitive) To taste; to have a specified taste or flavour. [16th-19th c.]
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, II.3.3:
      honourable enterprises are accompanied with dangers and damages, as experience evinceth; they will make the rest of thy life relish the better.
    • Shakespeare
      Had I been the finder-out of this secret, it would not have relished among my other discredits.
    • Woodward
      A theory, which, how much soever it may relish of wit and invention, hath no foundation in nature.
  2. (transitive) To give a relish to; to cause to taste agreeable, to make appetizing. [from 16th c.]
    • Dryden
      a sav'ry bit that served to relish wine
  3. (transitive) To taste or eat with pleasure, to like the flavor of; to take great pleasure in. [from 16th c.]
    He relishes their time together.
    I don't relish the idea of going out tonight.
    • Shakespeare
      Now I begin to relish thy advice.
    • Atterbury
      He knows how to prize his advantages, and to relish the honours which he enjoys.





relish f (uncountable)

  1. relish (pickled sauce)