Definition of taste in English:


Syllabification: taste
Pronunciation: /tāst


  • 1The sensation of flavor perceived in the mouth and throat on contact with a substance: the wine had a fruity taste
    More example sentences
    • Three weeks later she complained of a metallic taste and a burning sensation in her mouth.
    • The taste explodes in your mouth.
    • Water supplies in a South Lakeland town are leaving an earthy taste in people's mouths following an outbreak of algae.
  • 1.1The faculty of perceiving taste: birds do not have a highly developed sense of taste
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    • Sensory evaluation is analysis of product attributes perceived by the human senses of smell, taste, touch, sight, and hearing.
    • Of the five senses - touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing - which one is most important to a naval aviator?
    • For no spirit could feel things if it were defined under our interpretation of senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight are under no part of the term spirit.
  • 1.2A small portion of food or drink taken as a sample: try a taste of Gorgonzola
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    • In delicatessens, it is customary to offer sample tastes of foods as part of the exchange process.
    • She uses some of her class time to give students a taste of foods that they might not have tried before, such as avocado and feta.
    • We didn't order anything very typical but the unique Bulgarian dishes offered on the menu are suggested if you want to get a taste of the traditional foods.
    mouthful, drop, bit, sip, nip, swallow, touch, soupçon, dash, modicum
  • 1.3A brief experience of something, conveying its basic character: it was his first taste of serious action
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    • And the Elder said to him: You have had a brief taste of stillness and inner work, and have experienced the sweetness that comes from them.
    • I'll share some of that with you here, so that you may have a brief taste of my personal involvement with correspondents.
    • For the adventurous urbanite, how about experiencing a taste of farm life by visiting a working farm or ranch?
    experience of/with, impression of; exposure to, contact with, involvement with
  • 2A person’s liking for particular flavors: this pudding is too sweet for my taste
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    • The chef has made it more sour and sweet to meet the taste of Southern people and the dish is actually fairly bland.
    • Some say this might weaken the brand power of Reeb, but Huang believes the new Reeb with four flavours may cater to the tastes of more Shanghai people.
    • I tried vanilla coke when it came out, and it was very tasty, but given my addiction to plain diet coke… it was a bit too sweet for my tastes.
    palate, taste buds, appetite, stomach
  • 2.1A person’s tendency to like and dislike certain things: he found the aggressive competitiveness of the profession was not to his taste
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    • The busy silence that occurred before the conductor returned to the stage - like the opening moments of Sgt Pepper's - was more to my taste.
    • My brother and I share the same taste in food, drink and humour but when it comes to cars we disagree.
    • Obviously, it depends on having a decent-sized sample of your musical tastes before it can make sensible recommendations.
    liking, love, fondness, fancy, desire, preference, penchant, predilection, inclination, partiality; hankering, appetite, hunger, thirst, relish
  • 2.2 (taste for) A liking for or interest in (something): have you lost your taste for fancy restaurants?
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    • I kind of lost my taste for the X-Files when they started explaining everything.
    • It make me a little dizzy and a little sick and my taste for it just went away.
    • My Irish Terrier pup has also developed a taste for them so the competition is getting fierce.
  • 2.3The ability to discern what is of good quality or of a high aesthetic standard: she has awful taste in literature
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    • The analysis appreciates Densher's exercise of good taste in his ability to feel Milly's pain and ultimately to repudiate her fortune.
    • That hardly any believers approach aesthetic taste in this way is in no small part the reason we are flailing about today in a culture of ugliness and death.
    • Are standards of taste in music, art, or entertainment being raised, maintained or debased?
    judgment, discrimination, discernment, tastefulness, refinement, finesse, elegance, grace, style
  • 2.4Conformity or failure to conform with generally held views concerning what is offensive or acceptable: that’s a joke in very bad taste
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    • What constitutes an infringement of privacy or bad taste or a failure to conform to proper standards of decency is very much a matter of personal judgment.
    • Generally, more than half of the complaints received by the ASAI concern alleged misleading advertising; only a third concern taste and decency.
    • On first encounter, this emblem seems to be in poor taste, even slightly offensive; one that familiarity tends to politely ignore.
    decorum, propriety, etiquette, politeness, delicacy, nicety, sensitivity, discretion, tastefulness


[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Perceive or experience the flavor of: she had never tasted ice cream before
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    • Linus shall spend all day tasting different things that he didn't like when he was smoking.
    • It is not until you taste it that the difference becomes clear.
    • The first time I tasted these flavours I was in New York at a little Cuban café on Prince Street, and thought wow!
    perceive, discern, make out, distinguish
  • 1.1 [no object] Have a specified flavor: [with complement]: the spinach tastes delicious
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    • Sick of wines that tasted of artificial flavours and chemicals, he confided his frustration to his wife.
    • We foraged for the elusive baski, an absurdly delicious wild strawberry that tasted of cherry and blackcurrant too.
    • The lung was repellently spongy and tasted of bleach.
    have a/the flavor of, savor of, smack of, be reminiscent of; suggest
  • 1.2Sample or test the flavor of (food or drink) by taking it into the mouth: the waiter poured some wine for him to taste
    More example sentences
    • Critics tasting these wines without food and in large groups often miss wines like these that do not hammer their palates into submission.
    • After our food writers and editors taste each dish, it's first come, first served for the rest of the staff, so it pays to hurry when you smell something good.
    • Then, Kaga and four judges taste the food and pronounce the winner.
    sample, test, try, savor; sip, sup
  • 1.3Eat or drink a small portion of.
    More example sentences
    • To insure good luck in the coming year one must taste all courses, and there must also be an even number of people at the table to ensure good health.
    • Fruit and vegetables were then provided at lunch and school staff rewarded children for tasting them or for eating whole portions.
    • We couldn't have a Greek meal without tasting some baklava, so we ordered one portion to share.
    consume, drink, partake of; eat, devour
  • 1.4Have experience of: the team has not yet tasted victory at home
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    • Before yesterday's match against Dundee, he was unbeaten in 11 outings, tasting victory in eight of them.
    • Nobody has been nominated more often without tasting victory.
    • Last year, in fact, only four Americans tasted victory.
    experience, encounter, come face to face with, come up against, undergo; know


a bad (or bitter) taste in someone's mouth

informal A feeling of distress or disgust following an experience: this incident has left a bad taste in all our mouths
More example sentences
  • And, for those who still have a bitter taste in their mouth following The Tuxedo, this is Chan's chance for redemption.
  • The whole experience left a bitter taste in my mouth.
  • It was a good movie, but the whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth, because for the $15 I spent on that one flick, I could have rented three, and I already had the popcorn and soda at home.

taste blood

see blood.

to taste

In the amount needed to give a flavor pleasing to someone eating a dish: add salt and pepper to taste
More example sentences
  • Once these are amalgamated, Parmesan cheese is added, and salt and pepper according to taste.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, stir well to blend and serve straight away.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, and if you have it, a little caramelised red onion marmalade will give a final kick.


Middle English (also in the sense 'touch'): from Old French tast (noun), taster (verb) 'touch, try, taste', perhaps based on a blend of Latin tangere 'to touch' and gustare 'to taste'.

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