verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to have taste or flavor.
to be agreeable.

Origin of relish

1520–30; alteration of Middle English reles aftertaste, scent < Old French, variant of relais remainder, that left behind; see release
Related formsrel·ish·a·ble, adjectiverel·ish·ing·ly, adverbself-rel·ish, nounun·rel·ish·a·ble, adjectiveun·rel·ished, adjectiveun·rel·ish·ing, adjective

Synonyms for relish

Antonyms for relish Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for relish

Contemporary Examples of relish

Historical Examples of relish

  • She evidently did not relish his glib talk about the university.

  • The men did not relish the idea of quitting the spot; but, after some talk, they came into my plan.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • My mother, who saw that I did not relish the asses' milk, put in a word for me.

  • The porter could hardly refrain, from smacking his lips with an air of relish as he said this.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • She came running to me with a suggestion for economizing in the manufacture of the relish.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for relish


verb (tr)

to savour or enjoy (an experience) to the full
to anticipate eagerly; look forward to
to enjoy the taste or flavour of (food, etc); savour
to give appetizing taste or flavour to (food), by or as if by the addition of pickles or spices


liking or enjoyment, as of something eaten or experienced (esp in the phrase with relish)
pleasurable anticipationhe didn't have much relish for the idea
an appetizing or spicy food added to a main dish to enhance its flavour
an appetizing taste or flavour
a zestful trace or touchthere was a certain relish in all his writing
music (in English lute, viol, and keyboard music of the 16th and 17th centuries) a trilling ornament, used esp at cadences
Derived Formsrelishable, adjective

Word Origin for relish

C16: from earlier reles aftertaste, from Old French: something remaining, from relaisser to leave behind; see release
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

Word Origin and History for relish

1520s, "taste, flavor," alteration of reles "scent, taste, aftertaste," (c.1300), from Old French relais, reles, "something remaining, that which is left behind," from relaisser "to leave behind" (see release (v.)). Meaning "enjoyment of the taste or flavor of something" is attested from 1640s. Sense of "condiment, that which imparts flavor" is first recorded 1797. The stuff you put on hot dogs is a sweet green pickle relish.


1560s "give flavor to" (implied in relished), from relish (n.). The transferred sense of "to enjoy, take pleasure in" is from 1590s. Related: Relishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper