spice

[spahys]
noun
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.
3.
a spicy or aromatic odor or fragrance.
4.
something that gives zest: a spice of humor in his solemnity.
5.
a piquant, interesting element or quality; zest; piquancy: The anecdotes lent spice to her talk.
6.
Archaic. a small quantity of something; trace; bit.
verb (used with object), spiced, spicing.
7.
to prepare or season with a spice or spices.
8.
to give zest, piquancy, or interest to by something added.

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

spiceable, adjective
spiceless, adjective
spicelike, adjective
overspice, verb, overspiced, overspicing.
respice, verb (used with object), respiced, respicing.
unspiced, adjective
well-spiced, adjective


5. tang, gusto, zip.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
spice (spaɪs)
 
n
1.  a.  any of a variety of aromatic vegetable substances, such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, used as flavourings
 b.  these substances collectively
2.  something that represents or introduces zest, charm, or gusto
3.  rare a small amount
4.  dialect (Yorkshire) confectionery
 
vb
5.  to prepare or flavour (food) with spices
6.  to introduce charm or zest into
 
[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]
 
'spicer
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

spice
early 13c., from O.Fr. espice, from L.L. species (pl.) "spices, goods, wares," from L. "kind, sort" (see species). Early druggists recognized four "types" of spices: saffron, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg. Fig. sense of "slight touch or trace of something" is recorded from 1530s.
The verb, "to season with spices" is first recorded early 14c. (implied in spiced). Spicy is from 1560s; in the fig. sense of "racy, salacious" it dates from 1844. Spice-cake first attested 1520s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

spice

see variety is the spice of life.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Add a small amount to the soup for the zest of spice.
Many writers use this to spice things up to win there case since the average
  population gets board with pure science.
There has never been any great genius without a spice of madness.
Your purse is not hot enough to purchase your spice.
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