• Taste


    • IPA: /teɪst/
    • Rhymes: -eɪst

    Alternative forms


    From Middle English tasten, from Old French taster from assumed Vulgar Latin *taxitāre, a new iterative of Latin taxāre ("to touch sharply"), from tangere ("to touch"). Replaced native Middle English smaken, smakien ("to taste") (from Old English smacian ("to taste")), Middle English smecchen ("to taste, smack") (from Old English smeccan ("to taste")), Middle English buriȝen ("to taste") (from Old English byrigan, birian ("to taste")).

    Full definition of taste



    (countable and uncountable; plural tastes)
    1. One of the sensations produced by the tongue in response to certain chemicals (Taste).
    2. (countable and uncountable) A person's implicit set of preferences, especially esthetic, though also culinary, sartorial, etc. (Taste (sociology)).
      • 1907, w, The Younger Set Chapter 8, “ My tastes,” he said, still smiling, “ incline me to the garishly sunlit side of this planet.” And, to tease her and arouse her to combat : “ I prefer a farandole to a nocturne ; I'd rather have a painting than an etching ; . ”
      • 1963, Margery Allingham, The China Governess Chapter 1, The huge square box, parquet-floored and high-ceilinged, had been arranged to display a suite of bedroom furniture designed and made in the halcyon days of the last quarter of the nineteenth century, when modish taste was just due to go clean out of fashion for the best part of the next hundred years.
    3. Dr. Parker has good taste in wine.
    4. (uncountable, figuratively) A small amount of experience with something that gives a sense of its quality as a whole.
    5. A kind of narrow and thin silk ribbon.




    1. (transitive) To sample the flavor of something orally.
      • Bible, John ii. 9when the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine
    2. (intransitive) To have a taste; to excite a particular sensation by which flavour is distinguished.The chicken tasted great, but the milk tasted like garlic.
    3. To experience.I tasted in her arms the delights of paradise.They had not yet tasted the sweetness of freedom.
      • ShakespeareThe valiant never taste of death but once.
      • Bible, Heb. ii. 9He ... should taste death for every man.
      • MiltonThou ... wilt taste
        No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitary.
    4. To take sparingly.
      • DrydenAge but tastes of pleasures, youth devours.
    5. To try by eating a little; to eat a small quantity of.
      • Bible, 1 Sam. xiv. 29I tasted a little of this honey.
    6. (obsolete) To try by the touch; to handle.
      • Chapmanto taste a bow


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