verb (used with object)
  1. to provide or supply with something ornamental; adorn; decorate.
  2. to provide (a food) with something that adds flavor, decorative color, etc.: to garnish boiled potatoes with chopped parsley.
  3. Law.
    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.
  1. something placed around or on a food or in a beverage to add flavor, decorative color, etc.
  2. adornment or decoration.
  3. 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 formsgar·nish·a·ble, adjectivegar·nish·er, nouno·ver·gar·nish, verb (used with object)re·gar·nish, verb (used with object)un·der·gar·nish, verb (used with object)un·gar·nished, adjectivewell-gar·nished, adjective

Synonyms for garnish Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ungarnished

Historical Examples of ungarnished

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for ungarnished


verb (tr)
  1. to decorate; trim
  2. to add something to (food) in order to improve its appearance or flavour
  3. law
    1. to serve with notice of proceedings; warn
    2. obsoleteto summon to proceedings already in progress
    3. to attach (a debt)
  4. slang to extort money from
  1. a decoration; trimming
  2. something, such as parsley, added to a dish for its flavour or decorative effect
  3. obsolete, slang a payment illegally extorted, as from a prisoner by his jailer
Derived Formsgarnisher, noun

Word Origin for garnish

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

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