What does garnish mean?

Definitions for garnish
ˈgɑr nɪʃgar·nish

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word garnish.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. garnishnoun

    something (such as parsley) added to a dish for flavor or decoration

  2. garnishverb

    any decoration added as a trimming or adornment

  3. garnishee, garnishverb

    take a debtor's wages on legal orders, such as for child support

    "His employer garnished his wages in order to pay his debt"

  4. trim, garnish, dressverb

    decorate (food), as with parsley or other ornamental foods


  1. garnishnoun

    a set of dishes, often pewter, containing a dozen pieces of several types.

  2. garnishnoun

    pewter vessels in general.

  3. garnishverb

    To decorate with ornamental appendages; to set off; to adorn; to embellish; as, all within with flowers was garnished.

  4. garnishverb

    To ornament, as a dish, with something laid about it; as, a dish garnished with parsley.

  5. garnishverb

    To furnish; to supply.

    By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. (Job 26:13, KJV)

  6. garnishverb

    To fit with fetters.

  7. garnishverb

    To warn by garnishment; to give notice to; to garnishee.

  8. Etymology: From garnischen, from garnir, stem of certain forms of the verb garnir, guarnir, warnir, from a conflation of Old and, from warnijanan and warnōnan; both from wer-. Cognate with wiernan and warnian. More at warn.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Garnishnoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    So are you, sweet,
    Ev’n in the lovely garnish of a boy. William Shakespeare, Merch. of Venice.

    Matter and figure they produce;
    For garnish this, and that for use;
    They seek to feed and please their guests. Matthew Prior.

  2. To GARNISHverb

    Etymology: garnir, French.

    There were hills which garnished their proud heights with stately trees. Philip Sidney.

    All within with flowers was garnished,
    That, when mild Zephyrus amongst them blew,
    Did breathe out bounteous smells, and painted colours shew. Fairy Queen, b. ii. cant. 5.

    With taper light
    To seek the beauteous eye of heav’n to garnish,
    Is wasteful and ridiculous excess. William Shakespeare, King John.

    Paradise was a terrestrial garden, garnished with fruits, delighting both the eye and taste. Walter Raleigh, History of the World.

    All the streets between the Bridge-foot and palace of Paul’s, where the king then lay, were garnished with the citizens, standing in their liveries. Francis Bacon, Henry VII.

    With what expence and art, how richly drest!
    Garnish’d with ’sparagus, himself a feast! John Dryden, Juven. Sat.

    No man lards salt pork with orange peel,
    Or garnishes his lamb with spitchcok’d eel. William King, Cookery.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Garnishverb

    to decorate with ornamental appendages; to set off; to adorn; to embellish

  2. Garnishverb

    to ornament, as a dish, with something laid about it; as, a dish garnished with parsley

  3. Garnishverb

    to furnish; to supply

  4. Garnishverb

    to fit with fetters

  5. Garnishverb

    to warn by garnishment; to give notice to; to garnishee. See Garnishee, v. t

  6. Garnishnoun

    something added for embellishment; decoration; ornament; also, dress; garments, especially such as are showy or decorated

  7. Garnishnoun

    something set round or upon a dish as an embellishment. See Garnish, v. t., 2

  8. Garnishverb


  9. Garnishverb

    a fee; specifically, in English jails, formerly an unauthorized fee demanded by the old prisoners of a newcomer

  10. Etymology: [OE. garnischen, garnissen, OF. garnir to provide, strengthen, prepare, garnish, warn, F. garnir to provide, furnish, garnish, -- of German origin; cf. OHG. warnn to provide, equip; akin to G. wahren to watch, E. aware, ware, wary, and cf. also E. warn. See Wary, -ish, and cf. Garment, Garrison.]


  1. Garnish

    A garnish is an item or substance used as a decoration or embellishment accompanying a prepared food dish or drink. In many cases, it may give added or contrasting flavor. Some garnishes are selected mainly to augment the visual impact of the plate, while others are selected specifically for the flavor they may impart. This is in contrast to a condiment which is primarily a prepared sauce product of a specific flavor added to another food item. A food item which is served with garnish may be described as being garni, the French term for 'garnished.' Many garnishes are not intended to be eaten, though for some it is fine to do so. Parsley is an example of a traditional garnish; this pungent green herb has small distinctly shaped leaves, firm stems, and is easy to trim into a garnish. A garnish makes food or drink items more visually appealing. They may, for example, enhance their color, such as when paprika is sprinkled on a salmon salad. They may give a color contrast, for example when chives are sprinkled on potatoes. They may make a cocktail more visually appealing, such as when a cocktail umbrella is added to an exotic drink, or when a Mai Tai is topped with any number of tropical fruit pieces. Sushi may be garnished with baran, a type of plastic grass or leaf. Sometimes a garnish and a condiment will be used together to finish the presentation of a dish; for example, an entrée could be topped with a sauce, as the condiment, along with a sprig of parsley as a garnish.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Garnish

    gär′nish, v.t. to adorn: to furnish: to surround with ornaments, as a dish.—n. entrance-money: something placed round a principal dish at table, whether for embellishment or relish: a gift of money, esp. that formerly paid by a prisoner to his fellow-prisoners on his first admission.—ns. Gar′nishee, a person warned not to pay money owed to another, because the latter is indebted to the garnisher who gives the warning (v.t. to attach a debtor's money in this way); Garnishee′ment; Gar′nisher, one who garnishes; Gar′nishing, Gar′nishment, Gar′niture, that which garnishes or embellishes: ornament: apparel: trimming; Gar′nishry, adornment. [O. Fr. garniss-, stem of garnir, to furnish, old form warnir, from a Teut. root seen in A.S. warnian, Ger. warnen, Eng. warn.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. garnish

    Profuse decoration of a ship's head, stern, and quarters. Also money which pressed men in tenders and receiving ships exacted from each other, according to priority.

Matched Categories

Anagrams for garnish »

  1. sharing

  2. rashing

How to pronounce garnish?

How to say garnish in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of garnish in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of garnish in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of garnish in a Sentence

  1. Marc Forgione:

    We were definitely the only Westerners at Fu Kee -- it was not a tourist place by any means, the little garnish that they give you, it's almost like a scallion and ginger salad.

  2. Rachel Gurk:

    Margaritas shouldn’t be only for sunny days and beaches! This fun twist on a classic margarita makes it perfect for fall and winter days, garnish with a few fresh cranberries for a super festive beverage!

  3. William Shakespeare:

    Free from gross passion or of mirth or anger constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood, garnish'd and deck'd in modest compliment, not working with the eye without the ear, and but in purged judgement trusting neither Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem.

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Translations for garnish

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"garnish." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 24 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/garnish>.

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    a rugged box (usually made of wood); used for shipping
    • A. crate
    • B. impurity
    • C. evangelist
    • D. elation

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