[ spahys ]
See synonyms for: spicespicedspicing on Thesaurus.com

  1. any of a class of pungent or aromatic substances of vegetable origin, as pepper, cinnamon, or cloves, used as seasoning, preservatives, etc.

  2. such substances collectively or as material: Cookies without spice can be tasteless.

  1. a spicy or aromatic odor or fragrance.

  2. something that gives zest: a spice of humor in his solemnity.

  3. a piquant, interesting element or quality; zest; piquancy: The anecdotes lent spice to her talk.

  4. Archaic. a small quantity of something; trace; bit.

verb (used with object),spiced, spic·ing.
  1. to prepare or season with a spice or spices.

  2. to give zest, piquancy, or interest to by something added.

  1. Spice. a brand name for a synthetic cannabis compound.

Origin of spice

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English, aphetic form of Old French espice (French épice ) from Latin speciēs “appearance, sort, kind” (see species), in Late Latin (plural): “goods, wares, spices, drugs”; (verb) Middle English spicen, in part derivative of the noun, in part from Old French espicer, derivative of espice

Other words for spice

Other words from spice

  • spice·a·ble, adjective
  • spiceless, adjective
  • spicelike, adjective
  • o·ver·spice, verb, o·ver·spiced, o·ver·spic·ing.
  • re·spice, verb (used with object), re·spiced, re·spic·ing.
  • un·spiced, adjective
  • well-spiced, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use spice in a sentence

  • Did you continually find yourself repeating, 'Respice finem!

    A Day's Ride | Charles James Lever
  • Nihil tam que tibi proderit ad temperantiam, quam frequens cogitatio brevis vi, et incerti: Quicquid facis respice mortem.

  • Truly she did; but respice finem, or rather, we may say, we have lived to see the end.

    Tradition | John Francis Arundell
  • O anima Christiana, respice vulnera patientis, sanguinem morientis, pretium redemptionis.

  • Respice et plange: first, 'Look and lament' or mourn; which is indeed the most kindly and natural effect of such a spectacle.

British Dictionary definitions for spice


/ (spaɪs) /

    • any of a variety of aromatic vegetable substances, such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, used as flavourings

    • these substances collectively

  1. something that represents or introduces zest, charm, or gusto

  1. rare a small amount

  2. Yorkshire dialect confectionery

  1. to prepare or flavour (food) with spices

  2. to introduce charm or zest into

Origin of spice

C13: from Old French espice, from Late Latin speciēs (pl) spices, from Latin speciēs (sing) kind; also associated with Late Latin spīcea (unattested) fragrant herb, from Latin spīceus having spikes of foliage; see spica

Derived forms of spice

  • spicer, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with spice


see variety is the spice of life.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.