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[gahr-nish] /ˈgɑr nɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
to provide or supply with something ornamental; adorn; decorate.
to provide (a food) with something that adds flavor, decorative color, etc.:
to garnish boiled potatoes with chopped parsley.
  1. to attach (as money due or property belonging to a debtor) by garnishment; garnishee:
    The court garnished his wages when he refused to pay child support.
  2. to summon in, so as to take part in litigation already pending between others.
something placed around or on a food or in a beverage to add flavor, decorative color, etc.
adornment or decoration.
Chiefly British. a fee formerly demanded of a new convict or worker by the warden, boss, or fellow prisoners or workers.
Origin of garnish
1300-50; Middle English garnishen < Old French garniss- (extended stem of garnir, guarnir to furnish < Gmc); cf. warn
Related forms
garnishable, adjective
garnisher, noun
overgarnish, verb (used with object)
regarnish, verb (used with object)
undergarnish, verb (used with object)
ungarnished, adjective
well-garnished, adjective
1. embellish, ornament, beautify, trim, bedeck, bedizen, set off, enhance. 5. ornament; garniture. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ungarnished
Historical Examples
  • There was nothing for it but to turn from the ungarnished sideboard and face her again.

    Adrienne Toner Anne Douglas Sedgwick
  • His style is his own, plain, clear, ungarnished and straight-forward.

    Memoir of Rev. Joseph Badger Elihu G. Holland
  • Besides, you want the unvarnished and ungarnished truth, and I'm no hand for that.

    The Man in Lower Ten Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • These ungarnished, clear words, which offer nothing new, still contain as much as may be said and explained.

    Criminal Psychology Hans Gross
  • Amidst a cluster of locusts and weeping willows, rose the spire of the church, in the ungarnished decency of Sunday neatness.

    Alonzo and Melissa Daniel Jackson, Jr.
  • If you hear these rumours again, meet them with a flat, ungarnished denial.

  • A very straightforward and ungarnished account of the dispute between France and Madagascar.

  • He put the question in this ungarnished form, not supplying detailed conditions.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost

    William Frend De Morgan
  • I wish things would look more adorned to me, less palpably obvious and ungarnished.

  • If Deborah chooses to go with ungarnished ears, it is her affair; my conscience is free of all reproach.

    The Promised Land Mary Antin
British Dictionary definitions for ungarnished


verb (transitive)
to decorate; trim
to add something to (food) in order to improve its appearance or flavour
  1. to serve with notice of proceedings; warn
  2. (obsolete) to summon to proceedings already in progress
  3. to attach (a debt)
(slang) to extort money from
a decoration; trimming
something, such as parsley, added to a dish for its flavour or decorative effect
(obsolete, slang) a payment illegally extorted, as from a prisoner by his jailer
Derived Forms
garnisher, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French garnir to adorn, equip, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German warnōn to pay heed
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ungarnished



late 14c., from Old French garniss-, present participle stem of garnir "provide, furnish; fortify, reinforce," from a Germanic stem related to Proto-Germanic *warnejan "be cautious, guard, provide for" (cf. Old High German warnon "to take heed," Old English warnian "to take warning, beware;" see warn). Sense evolution is from "arm oneself" to "fit out" to "embellish," which was the earliest meaning in English, though the others also were used in Middle English. Culinary sense of "to decorate a dish for the table" predominated after c.1700. Older meaning survives in legal sense of "warning of attachment of funds" (1570s). Related: Garnished; garnishing.



late 14c., "set of tableware" (probably a dozen; usually pewter), from garnish (v.). Sense of "embellishments to food" is from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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