Definition of garnish in English:



  • 1Decorate or embellish (something, especially food)

    ‘garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream’
    • ‘Flowers and buds of mature shoots can garnish salads.’
    • ‘Even younger are garlic shoots, which can be used similarly to chives or spring onions for garnishing salads or adding to stir-fries.’
    • ‘My potatoes were garnished with garlic and dill.’
    • ‘Thick bracelets of sweet-and-sour sautéed Spanish onion garnish the meat.’
    • ‘English South Africans like to garnish their food with chutney (pickled relish).’
    • ‘In England we would skip the paprika and garnish the sandwich with ‘mustard and cress’ which is impossible to buy in America.’
    • ‘In the pastry kitchen, I carefully brushed at least a thousand leaves and flower petals with egg white and rolled them in sugar to garnish various dessert plates.’
    • ‘Don't forget to garnish dishes with edible flowers for an unusual and colourful touch.’
    • ‘The dish was garnished with a pretty swirl of slim cucumber slices, which added to the wonderful contrast of textures and flavours.’
    • ‘Separate a few pretty florets for use in garnishing the soup dishes.’
    • ‘For individual pizzas, place an olive in the center of each; or garnish the large pizza with 4 olives.’
    • ‘During the winter months the tradition is to garnish the dish with mint leaves and in the summer time with green coriander leaves.’
    • ‘Dishes are often garnished with eggs, cooked into a thin omelette and then rolled, before being sliced into strips.’
    • ‘Top zesty dishes with a few tablespoons of minced fresh parsley or garnish dessert with a few sprigs of fresh mint.’
    • ‘Every dish was garnished with sweet roasted tomatoes.’
    • ‘Instead, garnish food with one tablespoon of chopped nuts per person.’
    • ‘If you think it might be a while before you start garnishing your food with seaweed or extra salt, supplements may be the answer.’
    • ‘Both sandwiches were delicately garnished with tomato, cucumber, onion and leaves and at £1.50 were excellent value.’
    • ‘A sunburst of bananas is garnished with marigolds.’
    • ‘The wealthy would garnish their cakes with meat, such as pork and beef.’
    decorate, adorn, trim, dress, ornament, embellish, enhance, grace, beautify, prettify, brighten up, set off, add the finishing touch to
    jazz up
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  • 2Law
    Serve notice on (a third party) for the purpose of legally seizing money belonging to a debtor or defendant.

    • ‘He told me hes gotten this type of call before over the years regarding this situation and they never garnish him.’
    1. 2.1Seize (money, especially part of a person's salary) to settle a debt or claim.
      ‘the IRS garnished his earnings’
      • ‘Alas, when his connection retired, replaced by an ANC hardliner, she got the sack, and the government garnished his salary to pay back the treasury.’
      • ‘It may also be true, as he submitted, that there is no reported case where this discretion has been exercised so as to garnish a debt which is only recoverable outside the jurisdiction.’
      • ‘Up to 1956 there were doubts as to whether deposits for fixed periods and deposits repayable at a minimum notice could, thus, be garnished.’
      • ‘The court garnishes his wages to force him to pay.’
      • ‘McDermott had been upset about an Internal Revenue Service request to garnish his wages for back taxes.’


  • A small amount of food used to decorate other food.

    ‘reserve a few watercress leaves for a garnish’
    [mass noun] ‘some flowers are edible and make attractive salad garnish’
    • ‘However, if you enjoy the taste of herbs as a garnish to your food, why not enjoy their refreshing and health-giving properties in refreshing summer drinks.’
    • ‘Different types of green herbs, including coriander, parsley, dill, and spring onions, are served during meals both as a garnish and as salad.’
    • ‘They are used mainly in the cooking of C. and N. Europe, and are at their best in mild, creamy sauces and egg dishes, or as a garnish for soups and salads.’
    • ‘On the second channel a celebrity chef added the finishing garnish to a savoury dish.’
    • ‘The Bloody Mary has been called a meal in a glass, and like few other mixed drinks, its main ingredients - tomato juice, one or more vegetable garnishes - are foods, which rarely mix with other concoctions.’
    • ‘If you have the willpower not to eat the gribnes all at once, you can store it in a jar, and use it as a garnish for soups, potatoes, or any other food that might benefit from savoury crispness.’
    • ‘The rounded leaves also make an attractive garnish.’
    • ‘The garnish of roasted figs added a fitting flourish to a dish I'd choose if I ever find myself in Sands again.’
    • ‘I didn't quite know what to expect of cinnamon oranges, but the garnish of fresh orange slices tasted pleasantly of cinnamon.’
    • ‘Peppermint can overwhelm more subtle flavors, but the leaves make a tasty garnish for desserts like chocolate mousse.’
    • ‘Try these delicious Best Bites as a colorful garnish on salads or soups.’
    • ‘She also liked that the tomatoes were skinned; although I cynically said it was because of the romantic decorative rose shaped tomato skin presented to us as a garnish on our main courses.’
    • ‘Add lightly cooked peas at the end and top with some fried crispy browned onions for a classic garnish.’
    • ‘You can go to a restaurant and pay top dollar, but all you will get is top-dollar street food: tacos with garnishes; quesadillas adorned with sprigs of parsley.’
    • ‘Sprigs of herbs make attractive garnishes for food platters (edible flower garnishes are perfect for dessert trays).’
    • ‘The first series were full of elaborate, post-nouvelle cuisine dishes - black hexagonal plates, kiwi fruit garnishes, elaborate vegetable combinations, home-made biscuits and endless other little fiddly bits.’
    • ‘Ann had a jacket potato and baked beans with a salad garnish and coleslaw.’
    • ‘Peel the onion for the garnish and cut into paper-thin slices, separate the rings and set in a small bowl of iced water, cover and refrigerate.’
    • ‘The garnish is a banana leaf holding an anise-flavored blend of tomatillo-seeded sauce.’
    • ‘Common chives have onion-flavored leaves and edible purple flowers that make pretty garnishes in salads.’
    decoration, adornment, trim, trimming, ornament, ornamentation, embellishment, enhancement, beautification, finishing touch
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Middle English (in the sense ‘equip, arm’): from Old French garnir, probably of Germanic origin and related to warn. garnish dates from the late 17th century.