[ teyst ]
/ teɪst /
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See synonyms for: taste / tasted / tasting on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), tast·ed, tast·ing.
verb (used without object), tast·ed, tast·ing.
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Idioms about taste

    taste blood. blood (def. 24).
    to one's taste, agreeable or pleasing to one: He couldn't find any ties that were completely to his taste.

Origin of taste

First recorded in 1250–1300; (verb) Middle English tasten “to touch, taste,” from Old French taster “to touch, explore by touching” (Middle French: “to touch, taste”); cognate with Italian tastare, Provençal, Old Spanish tastar, of uncertain origin; (noun) Middle English tast “sense of touch, a trying, tasting,” from Old French, derivative of taster

synonym study for taste

17. Taste, flavor, savor refer to a quality that is perceived when a substance is placed upon the tongue. Taste is the general word: the taste of roast beef. Flavor is a characteristic taste, usually of a pleasing kind, and as of some ingredient put into the food: lemon flavor. Savor, much less common than taste or flavor, implies pleasing scent as well as taste or flavor, and connotes enjoyment in tasting: The sauce has an excellent savor.

historical usage of taste

The English noun taste (Middle English tast ) is derived from the Middle English verb tasten “to taste (food, medicine), perceive a flavor, palpate or feel (a patient), experience or feel something (also referring to sexual feeling), test someone or something, attempt.”
Tasten was borrowed from Old French taster “to touch, try,” from an unrecorded Vulgar Latin verb tastāre (or taxtāre or taxitāre ), which is most likely an alteration of a frequentative verb formed from tangere “to touch, tap, taste (food), lay hands on, affect (with emotion), seize, defraud.” (A frequentative verb is one that expresses repetition of an action).
Though the meaning “to try or examine by touch; to feel” is now obsolete, the current figurative meaning “to have a slight experience of something” has developed from that literal use. And of course the primary meaning “to try the flavor of something” is merely referring to another one of our five senses that is stimulated by food taken into the mouth.


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


What is a basic definition of taste?

Taste is the human sense that we use to experience the flavors of things we eat and drink. Taste is the flavor of something, and to taste something means to eat or drink a small amount of it. Taste has many other senses as a verb and a noun.

Taste is one of the five basic senses, along with sight, hearing, smell, and touch. Our senses are how we perceive stimuli from within or without the body.

  • Real-life examples: Humans use their mouth, tongue, and taste buds to experience the flavor or sensations of different foods and drinks. Animals have a sense of taste as well, although most of them have different taste buds than humans so foods will have different flavors to them.
  • Used in a sentence: When Isiah was sick he lost his sense of taste and his mother’s soup no longer tasted good to him.

The unique sensation or flavor that a food, drink, or other thing causes is called its taste. Something that has a good taste is said to be tasty.

  • Real-life examples: Most fruits have a sweet taste. A lot of people do not like the taste of fish. Chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream all have different tastes.
  • Used in a sentence: I know cauliflower is good for me, but I just don’t like the taste of it.

Taste is used to mean to put a small amount of something into your mouth to determine what kind of sensation it causes. This way, we can tell “what it tastes like.”

  • Real-life examples: Parents everywhere struggle to get children to even taste their vegetables. You might cautiously taste a piece of unfamiliar food. A chef may taste a small spoonful of their cooking to see if it needs more spices.
  • Used in a sentence: The puppy tasted only a small bite of the new dog food before walking away in disgust.

Where does taste come from?

The first records of taste come from around 1250. It ultimately comes from the Old French taster, meaning “to touch” or “to explore by touching.”

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What are some other forms related to taste?

What are some synonyms for taste?

What are some words that share a root or word element with taste

What are some words that often get used in discussing taste?

How is taste used in real life?

Taste is a very common word that people use to describe the flavors of foods and drinks that they consume.

Try using taste!

True or False?

You might say your soup tastes loud.

How to use taste in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for taste

/ (teɪst) /


Derived forms of taste

tastable, adjective

Word Origin for taste

C13: from Old French taster, ultimately from Latin taxāre to appraise
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 taste


see acquired taste; dose (taste) of one's own medicine; leave a bad taste in one's mouth; no accounting for tastes; poor taste.

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