[ gahr-nish ]
/ ˈgɑr nɪʃ /
Save This Word!

verb (used with object)

to provide or supply with something ornamental; adorn; decorate: a free-standing wall whose lower reaches are garnished by hanging gardens.
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.



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of garnish

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English garnishen, from Old French garniss- (extended stem of garnir, guarnir “to furnish,” from Germanic ); cf. warn
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for garnish

/ (ˈɡɑːnɪʃ) /

verb (tr)

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


garnisher, noun
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
Learn A New Word Right Now!