Definition of garnish in English:



  • 1Decorate or embellish (something, especially food)

    ‘salad garnished with an orange slice’
    • ‘Instead, garnish food with one tablespoon of chopped nuts per person.’
    • ‘English South Africans like to garnish their food with chutney (pickled relish).’
    • ‘If you think it might be a while before you start garnishing your food with seaweed or extra salt, supplements may be the answer.’
    • ‘Every dish was garnished with sweet roasted tomatoes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Flowers and buds of mature shoots can garnish salads.’
    • ‘Separate a few pretty florets for use in garnishing the soup dishes.’
    • ‘In England we would skip the paprika and garnish the sandwich with ‘mustard and cress’ which is impossible to buy in America.’
    • ‘Both sandwiches were delicately garnished with tomato, cucumber, onion and leaves and at £1.50 were excellent value.’
    • ‘For individual pizzas, place an olive in the center of each; or garnish the large pizza with 4 olives.’
    • ‘The dish was garnished with a pretty swirl of slim cucumber slices, which added to the wonderful contrast of textures and flavours.’
    • ‘The wealthy would garnish their cakes with meat, such as pork and beef.’
    • ‘Thick bracelets of sweet-and-sour sautéed Spanish onion garnish the meat.’
    • ‘Dishes are often garnished with eggs, cooked into a thin omelette and then rolled, before being sliced into strips.’
    • ‘During the winter months the tradition is to garnish the dish with mint leaves and in the summer time with green coriander leaves.’
    • ‘Top zesty dishes with a few tablespoons of minced fresh parsley or garnish dessert with a few sprigs of fresh mint.’
    • ‘A sunburst of bananas is garnished with marigolds.’
    • ‘Don't forget to garnish dishes with edible flowers for an unusual and colourful touch.’
    • ‘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.’
    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 with a garnishment.

    • ‘As you read from my title I am being garnished.’
    1. 2.1Seize (money, especially part of a person's salary) to settle a debt or claim.
      ‘the IRS garnished his earnings’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 decoration or embellishment for something, especially food.

    • ‘Unwrap and remove the centers of the onions, cut in half and reserve for garnish.’
    • ‘Sprinkle with nutmeg, cinnamon, or raisins for garnish.’
    • ‘The addition of even a small amount of fresh lime juice, ground cumin and a fresh cilantro garnish give it a West Indian flavor.’
    • ‘Put some pizzazz in your Bloody Marys with a shrimp and scallion garnish.’
    • ‘Nor could a bizarrely inappropriate garnish of pickled ginger - which seems to find its way onto too many plates here.’
    • ‘He has written to me telling me to use less garnish.’
    • ‘Stuffed with a rice filling and baked, they make a handsome, delectable garnish around a holiday bird or roast.’
    • ‘There are so many fruit garnishes and embellishments accompanying the prosciutto that its effectiveness is diluted.’
    • ‘Martini glasses with the red-sugared rims and lime wheel garnish.’
    • ‘In a pinch, you can use the curly parsley, but otherwise, save it for garnish.’
    • ‘However, the pomegranate halves shown are a colorful, edible garnish.’
    • ‘Thus, the occasional dutiful songs in which a rapper urges men to take responsibility for their kids or laments senseless violence are mere garnish.’
    • ‘They were all beautifully arranged with garnish, very tasty, and complemented nicely by the wine.’
    • ‘The bartender asked, and then for my preferred brand and garnish, while he placed a glass of water in front of me.’
    • ‘Trim and reserve the heads for garnish, chop up the lobster bodies and shells and set aside.’
    • ‘Servers give patrons a 16-oz. glass filled with ice, a shot of vodka and a celery stick garnish which they then take to the Bloody Mary bar to embellish.’
    • ‘First, he cuts off the top of the cone, usually featuring a hard-boiled egg and some chilies in a type of garnish, and places it on a serving plate.’
    • ‘The two recipes I selected were Honey Saffron Ice Cream and Honey Spice Cake, with a honey-citrus drizzle of my own creation, and mint garnish.’
    • ‘‘I'm here for American Splendor,’ he said pleasantly, with the requisite ironic garnish.’
    • ‘More than a mere embellishment, the garnish should be considered an ingredient in the drink.’
    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.