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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Spice'

Spice Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    spice n
  1. aromatic substances of vegetable origin used as a preservative
  2. any of a variety of pungent aromatic vegetable substances used for flavoring food
  3. the property of being seasoned with spice and so highly flavored [syn: spiciness, spicery] v
  4. make more interesting or flavorful; "Spice up the evening by inviting a belly dancer" [syn: spice up]
  5. add herbs or spices to [syn: zest, spice up]
Spice Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Spice \Spice\, n. [OE. spice, spece, spice, species, OF. espice, espece, F. ['e]pice spice, esp[`e]ce 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 Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Spice \Spice\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Spiced; p. p. & vb. n. 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.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Spice'

A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. In the kitchen, spices are distinguished from herbs, which are leafy, green plant parts used for flavoring.

Many spices are also used for other purposes, such as medicine, religious rituals, cosmetics, perfumery, or eating as vegetables. For example, turmeric is also used as a preservative; liquorice as a medicine; garlic as a vegetable. In some cases they are referred to by different terms.

Spices can be grouped as:

The earliest evidence of the use of spice by humans was around 50,000 B.C. The spice trade developed throughout the Middle East in around 2000 BC with cinnamon and pepper, and in East Asia (Korea,China) with herbs and pepper. The Egyptians used herbs for embalming and their need for exotic herbs helped stimulate world trade. In fact, the word spice comes from the same root as species, meaning kinds of goods. By 1000 BC China, Korea and India had a medical system based upon herbs. Early uses were connected with magic, medicine, religion, tradition, and preservation.

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'Spice' in famous quotation sentence

* I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation. - George Bernard Shaw

* Oregano is the spice of life. - Henry J. Tillman

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