Definition of flavour in English:


(US flavor)


  • 1The distinctive taste of a food or drink:

    ‘the yoghurt comes in eight fruit flavours’
    [mass noun] ‘adding sun-dried tomatoes gives the sauce extra flavour’
    • ‘The point of cooking outdoors over charcoal is to imbue the food with that distinctive flavour.’
    • ‘Deliciously fresh and vibrant fruit aromas and flavours in every sip.’
    • ‘Love them or hate them, there's no doubt the olive has one of the most distinctive flavours in your kitchen cupboard, a flavour you can trust.’
    • ‘People enjoyed them because of the scents and distinctive flavors.’
    • ‘It's full of rich fruit flavours (blackberry and plums) with violet, spice and a generous helping of French oak.’
    • ‘The distinctive earthy flavour of the food is now lost, to be perhaps sourced only in a few remote villages.’
    • ‘If you like oaky fruit flavours then this is for you.’
    • ‘Apart from a quality controller, there is also a food technologist to ensure that the flavour and taste is consistent.’
    • ‘We both agreed that the flavours were distinctive although we were unable to name many of the herbs we ate.’
    • ‘Not only are they good for you but they are very tasty and enhance the flavour of foods.’
    • ‘The function of salt is to enhance the flavour of food and not to overpower it.’
    • ‘Their unique flavour was distinguished by the addition of sweet soy sauce over the spicy peanut sauce.’
    • ‘Limes have a stimulating, wake-me-up freshness that sets off the less obvious flavours of more subtle fruits and vegetables.’
    • ‘With brilliant colors, intense flavors, and distinctive textures, foods from farmers' markets tempt and delight.’
    • ‘That's only a bad thing if it dominates the other flavours, probably of fruit and flowers.’
    • ‘It's soft, juicy and easy to drink, with bright plum and raspberry fruit flavours and good colour in the glass.’
    • ‘Consumers are increasingly choosing premium foods and exotic flavours as their tastes change.’
    • ‘The senses of smell and taste let you fully enjoy the flavors of foods and drinks, and the smells of flowers.’
    • ‘It's quite fiery stuff with pepper, spices and some tannic activity but best of all, it's over-brimming with summer fruit flavours.’
    • ‘The meat is famous for its ‘marbling’ - the blend of fat and lean meat which gives it its distinctive flavour and texture.’
    taste, savour, tang, relish, palate
    flavouring, seasoning, tastiness, tang, tanginess, interest, relish, bite, piquancy, pungency, savour, smack, spice, spiciness, sharpness, zest, raciness, edge
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    1. 1.1US A substance used to alter or enhance the taste of food or drink; a flavouring.
  • 2[in singular] An indication of the essential character of something:

    ‘the extracts give a flavour of the content and tone of the conversation’
    • ‘Hopefully it will give you a flavour of what it was like.’
    • ‘But it does convey something of the flavour of the benefits regime, in its concern that those who need help can get it.’
    • ‘Recruits would gain experience in administration and get a flavour of working in a challenging and interesting environment, the spokesman said.’
    • ‘The trial would give them a flavour of the problems that will ensue.’
    • ‘But this review by Clive Davis gives a flavour of what to expect.’
    • ‘A flavour of what this article does say, despite the claims of Sullivan, can be had from the following two brief paragraphs.’
    • ‘The 10-week evening course will give students a flavour of the most important fields of enquiry within women's studies at present.’
    • ‘It would certainly give you a flavour of their culture.’
    • ‘A two, to three-minute extract from each of the 20 short-listed pieces was read to give the audience a flavour of the writing.’
    • ‘I'll give you a flavour of some of the outlandish claims he makes (this published just yesterday, mind).’
    • ‘An atmosphere matching the flavour of the book was what the organisers sought to create and succeeded in creating.’
    • ‘The following is just a flavour of some of the comments and suggestions.’
    • ‘Her books are intended to give children a flavour of the period and also an understanding of a timeline - a concept often difficult to teach.’
    • ‘It came to me when I saw the picture of husky racing in Grizedale in last week's Gazette and I have suitably adapted it to give a flavour of my idea.’
    • ‘We can do no more than give a flavour of his work here.’
    • ‘Before I go, a flavour of how others celebrate the day.’
    • ‘I didn't get on, but I was grateful for the opportunity to get a flavour of what it's like to be close to one of the greatest club competitions in the world.’
    • ‘I have outlined just a flavour of what is happening in the next couple of months and I'm quite sure that Sligo athletes will be highly motivated by what lies ahead.’
    • ‘Saturday's audience will, according to Smyth, get a flavour of this and, of course, examples of their other standout work.’
    • ‘‘The aim was to give them a flavour of the kind of science primary-age children are taught in this country,’ he said.’
    impression, indication, suggestion, hint, taste, nuance
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    1. 2.1[in singular] A distinctive quality or atmosphere:
      ‘whitewashed walls and red pantiles gave the resort a Mediterranean flavour’
      • ‘The stylish and atmospheric flavour of the new showroom was inspired by Saab's aircraft heritage and the Scandinavian design ethic.’
      • ‘Did somebody make a decision that the board minutes shouldn't reflect the flavour or tenor of that board meeting?’
      • ‘The exhibition will also have an international flavour as it will feature artwork from our visiting delegation, Venezuela.’
      • ‘The second act brings us back to the traditional roots of tango with music from the classical era, capturing the atmosphere and flavour of Buenos Aires, the birthplace of tango.’
      • ‘Bolton Arts Festival took on an Asian flavour on Saturday with a show to recreate the atmosphere of Bolton Mela.’
      • ‘Sure, he knows how to relate the events of the story on film, but he's got no style, no distinctive flavor, no particular eye for detail.’
      • ‘Lang says buskers add life to the atmosphere and flavour of a community, and he hopes more Busk Stops will be added.’
      • ‘The makeover will capture the flavour of Euro-Caribbean styling with an open floor plan that takes advantage of the island's tropical setting.’
      • ‘Paintings on cowskin also hang on the walls adding a Latin flavour to the atmosphere.’
      • ‘Much in the game indicates that it's the flavour and atmosphere that is to be emphasized and I think it works best when the players accept this.’
      • ‘It was a joking reference to the Hispanic flavour of the venue, but even being able to joke at this stage of the game is a display of confidence.’
      • ‘We'll be showing the build up to England games, taking a look around the stadiums and giving living room supporters a real flavour of the atmosphere and tension in Asia.’
      • ‘It marries well with the extreme storytelling and characterisation to give the film a flavour of operatic grandeur.’
      character, quality, feel, feeling, ambience, atmosphere, aura, air, mood, aspect, tone, tenor, complexion, style, stamp, property
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  • 3A kind, variety, or sort:

    ‘various flavours of firewall are evolving’
    • ‘When parking-lot congestion impedes the advance of responsible eaters toward the bin of heirloom tomatoes, you see that anger comes in many flavors.’
    • ‘In the sixties, I would have called them Birchers, not having the knowledge of the far right back then to distinguish amongst different flavors of rightwing lunacy.’
    • ‘Microsoft UK is offering free evaluation CDs of Windows. NET Server beta 3, in Web, Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter flavours.’
  • 4Physics
    A quantized property of quarks which differentiates them into at least six varieties (up, down, charmed, strange, top, bottom).

    Compare with colour
    • ‘The only inputs were a few experimentally known hadron masses that were used to determine the lattice spacing and the masses of five of the quark flavors.’
    • ‘So far we know of six quark flavors: Up, down, strange, charm, top, and bottom.’
    • ‘Each quark can be chosen from any of six flavours: up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top.’


  • 1 Alter or enhance the taste of (food or drink) by adding a particular ingredient:

    ‘chunks of chicken flavoured with herbs’
    • ‘Now, if your man demands meat, and you want to find ways around serving him hunks of meat all the time, try merely flavoring foods with meat.’
    • ‘Wine vinegar is often flavoured with herbs such as tarragon and basil, or with chillies.’
    • ‘To reduce your sodium intake, take the salt shaker off the table and flavor foods with herbs, spices, and lemon juice instead.’
    • ‘Dye obtained from the flowers is used to colour and flavour foods like rice, soups, cheeses and butter.’
    • ‘Miso is quite salty, so use it instead of salt to flavor your food.’
    • ‘Events such as the York Festival Of Food And Drink point out that there is more than one way to flavour food.’
    • ‘The other spices you mention are commonly used to flavor food.’
    • ‘The dish is flavoured with ginger and is very delicious.’
    • ‘Fresh basil may well be the signature herb of summer, perfuming our gardens and flavoring our foods with its delightful clovelike essence.’
    • ‘Where, for instance, were the bowls of freshly chopped green chillis with which to flavour the food?’
    • ‘It is said that it is good for the skin and Greeks and peoples of the Mediterranean flavoured their foods, such as rice, fish, cheese, and soups with it.’
    • ‘Because of the widespread use of this Worcester sauce to flavour other foods, we may find further affected products.’
    • ‘From the roof hung the herbs used to flavor the food.’
    • ‘Another culinary idea is to flavour vinegar with herbs.’
    • ‘The rice was flavoured with tomato and spices and the salad was of crisp iceberg lettuce lightly drizzled with a mustard dressing.’
    • ‘At a time when salt was crucial for preserving as well as flavouring food, it was also extremely hard to come by.’
    • ‘The chicken and potatoes were well flavoured with the lemon and garlic.’
    • ‘With the discovery that rose water could flavour food, the Arabs began to use it lavishly in their dishes.’
    add flavour to, add flavouring to, season, add herbs to, add seasoning to, add spices to, add piquancy to, ginger up, enrich, enliven, liven up
    spike, pep up
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    1. 1.1 Give a distinctive quality to:
      ‘the faint exasperation that had flavoured her tone’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘fragrance, aroma’): from Old French flaor, perhaps based on a blend of Latin flatus blowing and foetor stench; the -v- appears to have been introduced in Middle English by association with savour. flavour dates from the late 17th century.