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[rel-ish] /ˈrɛl ɪʃ/
liking or enjoyment of the taste of something.
pleasurable appreciation of anything; liking:
He has no relish for obscene jokes.
  1. something savory or appetizing added to a meal, as pickles or olives.
  2. a sweet pickle made of various vegetables, usually chopped or minced.
  3. an appetizer or hors d'oeuvre.
a pleasing or appetizing flavor.
a pleasing or enjoyable quality.
a taste or flavor.
a smack, trace, or touch of something.
verb (used with object)
to take pleasure in; like; enjoy:
I don't relish the long drive home.
to make pleasing to the taste.
to like the taste of.
verb (used without object)
to have taste or flavor.
to be agreeable.
1520-30; alteration of Middle English reles aftertaste, scent < Old French, variant of relais remainder, that left behind; see release
Related forms
relishable, adjective
relishingly, adverb
self-relish, noun
unrelishable, adjective
unrelished, adjective
unrelishing, adjective
1, 2. gusto, zest. 2. inclination, partiality, predilection, preference. 3. condiment, appetizer. 6. savor. 8. appreciate.
1, 2. distaste, disfavor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for relish
  • When ready to eat grill, or sear quail for five minutes on each side, top with relish and serve.
  • Georgians have been putting this relish-type sauce on everything from biscuits to rice since colonial days.
  • Others, particularly audiophiles, relish in that isolation.
  • relish your success and look back fondly on these days.
  • It is the work of a true fan-an emotional, biased observer who seems to relish his subjectivity.
  • Smell the perfume of flowers, taste with relish each morsel, as if tomorrow you could never smell and taste again.
  • Raised in a large family on a schoolteacher's salary, the writer was taught to garden, and to relish the unexpected.
  • She at once made herself a salad of it, and ate it with much relish.
  • We in the media get paid for it, as well as relish it.
  • Primary voters seem to relish upsetting expectations.
British Dictionary definitions for relish


verb (transitive)
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 anticipation: he 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 touch: there 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 Forms
relishable, adjective
Word Origin
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
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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
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Encyclopedia Article for relish

vegetable side dish that is eaten in small quantities with a blander main dish to pique the appetite by its contrasting texture and spicy or piquant taste. Relishes are frequently finely cut vegetables or fruit in sour, sweet-sour, or spicy sauce. The Indonesian and Malaysian sambal, Indian chutney, achar, and raita, and Korean kimchi are relishes that accompany virtually every meal in their respective cuisines. Lombardy in Italy specializes in mostarda di frutta, a melange of fruits preserved in a sweet syrup, sharp with mustard. In the Pennsylvania Dutch (see Pennsylvania German) cuisine of the United States, "seven sweets and seven sours" traditionally were served, among them many that are favourites throughout the country: pickled cucumbers, onions, beets, crabapples, watermelon rind, and mixtures of chopped vegetables such as piccalilli and chow chow.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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