What does taste mean?

Definitions for taste

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. taste, taste sensation, gustatory sensation, taste perception, gustatory perceptionnoun

    the sensation that results when taste buds in the tongue and throat convey information about the chemical composition of a soluble stimulus

    "the candy left him with a bad taste"; "the melon had a delicious taste"

  2. preference, penchant, predilection, tastenoun

    a strong liking

    "my own preference is for good literature"; "the Irish have a penchant for blarney"

  3. taste, appreciation, discernment, perceptivenessnoun

    delicate discrimination (especially of aesthetic values)

    "arrogance and lack of taste contributed to his rapid success"; "to ask at that particular time was the ultimate in bad taste"

  4. tastenoun

    a brief experience of something

    "he got a taste of life on the wild side"; "she enjoyed her brief taste of independence"

  5. taste, mouthfulnoun

    a small amount eaten or drunk

    "take a taste--you'll like it"

  6. taste, gustation, sense of taste, gustatory modalitynoun

    the faculty of distinguishing sweet, sour, bitter, and salty properties in the mouth

    "his cold deprived him of his sense of taste"

  7. taste, tastingverb

    a kind of sensing; distinguishing substances by means of the taste buds

    "a wine tasting"

  8. taste, savor, savourverb

    have flavor; taste of something

  9. tasteverb

    perceive by the sense of taste

    "Can you taste the garlic?"

  10. sample, try, try out, tasteverb

    take a sample of

    "Try these new crackers"; "Sample the regional dishes"

  11. smack, tasteverb

    have a distinctive or characteristic taste

    "This tastes of nutmeg"

  12. tasteverb

    distinguish flavors

    "We tasted wines last night"

  13. tasteverb

    experience briefly

    "The ex-slave tasted freedom shortly before she died"


  1. tastenoun

    One of the sensations produced by the tongue in response to certain chemicals.

  2. tastenoun

    A person's implicit set of preferences, especially esthetic, though also culinary, sartorial, etc.

    Dr. Parker has good taste in wine.

  3. tastenoun

    A small amount of experience with something that gives a sense of its quality as a whole.

  4. tasteverb

    To sample the flavor of something orally.

  5. tasteverb

    To have a taste.

    The chicken tasted great.

  6. tasteverb

    To experience.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Tastenoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    Best of fruits, whose taste gave elocution. John Milton.

    Bees delight more in one flower than another, and therefore have taste. Francis Bacon, Nat. Hist.

    Delicacies of taste, sight, smell. John Milton.

    The tardy plants in our cold orchards plac’d,
    Reserve their fruit for the next age’s taste. Edmund Waller.

    I have almost forgot the taste of fears:
    The time has been, my senses would have cool’d
    To hear a night shriek. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    Musick in the close,
    As the last taste of sweets is sweetest last. William Shakespeare, R. II.

    Manna was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. Exod. xvi. 31.

    Though there be a great variety of tastes, yet, as in smells, they have only some few general names. John Locke.

    Seeing they pretend no quarrel at other psalms which are in like manner appointed to be daily read, why do these so much offend and displease their tastes? Richard Hooker.

    Sion’s songs to all true tastes excelling,
    Where God is prais’d aright. John Milton.

    I have no taste
    Of popular applause. John Dryden, Spanish Friar.

    As he had no taste of true glory, we see him equipped like an Hercules, with a club and a lion’s skin. Addison.

    This metaphor would not have been so general, had there not been a conformity between the mental taste and that sensitive taste which gives us a relish of every flavour. Addison.

    Your way of life, in my taste, will be the best. Alexander Pope.

    I see how ill a taste for wit and sense prevails in the world. Jonathan Swift.

    Pleasure results from a sense to discern, and a taste to be affected with beauty. Jeremiah Seed, Sermons.

    I hope, for my brother’s justification, he wrote as an essay or taste of my virtue. William Shakespeare.

    They thought it not safe to resolve, till they had a taste of the people’s inclination. Francis Bacon, Henry VII.

    Besides the prayers mentioned, I shall give only a taste of some few recommended to devout persons in the manuals and offices. Edward Stillingfleet.

  2. To Tasteverb

    Etymology: taster, to try, French.

    The ruler of the feast tasted the water made wine. John ii.

    Bold deed to taste it under ban to touch. John Milton.

    Roscetes was seldom permitted to eat any other meat but such as the prince before tasted of. Richard Knolles.

    Thou and I marching before our troops
    May taste fate to them, mow them out a passage. Dryden.

    He should taste death for every man. Heb. ii. 9.

  3. To Tasteverb

    Of this tree we may not taste nor touch. John Milton.

    When the mouth is out of taste, it maketh things taste bitter and loathsome, but never sweet. Francis Bacon, Nat. Hist.

    When kine feed upon wild garlick, their milk tasteth of it. Francis Bacon.

    If your butter tastes of brass, it is your master’s fault, who will not allow a silver saucepan. Jonathan Swift.

    Scholars when good sense describing,
    Call it tasting and imbibing. Jonathan Swift.

    Thou, Adam, wilt taste no pleasure. John Milton.

    Ev’ry idle, nice, and wanton reason
    Shall, to the king, taste of this action. William Shakespeare.

    The body’s life with meats and air is fed,
    Therefore the soul doth use the tasting pow’r
    In veins, which through the tongue and palate spread,
    Distinguish ev’ry relish sweet and sour. Davies.

    Cowards die many times before their deaths;
    The valiant never taste of death but once. William Shakespeare.

    The tasting of death touched the righteous also, and there was a destruction of the multitude in the wilderness. Wisd.

    What hither brought us? not hope here to taste
    Of pleasure. John Milton.

    Of nature’s bounty men forbore to taste,
    And the best portion of the earth lay waste. Edmund Waller.

    This fiery game your active youth maintain’d,
    Not yet by years extinguish’d, though restrain’d;
    You season still with sports your serious hours,
    For age but tastes of pleasures, youth devours. Dryden.


  1. Taste

    The gustatory system or sense of taste is the sensory system that is partially responsible for the perception of taste (flavor). Taste is the perception produced or stimulated when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with taste receptor cells located on taste buds in the oral cavity, mostly on the tongue. Taste, along with olfaction and trigeminal nerve stimulation (registering texture, pain, and temperature), determines flavors of food and other substances. Humans have taste receptors on taste buds and other areas, including the upper surface of the tongue and the epiglottis. The gustatory cortex is responsible for the perception of taste. The tongue is covered with thousands of small bumps called papillae, which are visible to the naked eye. Within each papilla are hundreds of taste buds. The exception to this is the filiform papillae that do not contain taste buds. There are between 2000 and 5000 taste buds that are located on the back and front of the tongue. Others are located on the roof, sides and back of the mouth, and in the throat. Each taste bud contains 50 to 100 taste receptor cells. Taste receptors in the mouth sense the five taste modalities: sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and savoriness (also known as savory or umami). Scientific experiments have demonstrated that these five tastes exist and are distinct from one another. Taste buds are able to distinguish between different tastes through detecting interaction with different molecules or ions. Sweet, savoriness, and bitter tastes are triggered by the binding of molecules to G protein-coupled receptors on the cell membranes of taste buds. Saltiness and sourness are perceived when alkali metal or hydrogen ions enter taste buds, respectively.The basic taste modalities contribute only partially to the sensation and flavor of food in the mouth—other factors include smell, detected by the olfactory epithelium of the nose; texture, detected through a variety of mechanoreceptors, muscle nerves, etc.; temperature, detected by thermoreceptors; and "coolness" (such as of menthol) and "hotness" (pungency), through chemesthesis. As the gustatory system senses both harmful and beneficial things, all basic taste modalities are classified as either aversive or appetitive, depending upon the effect the things they sense have on the body. Sweetness helps to identify energy-rich foods, while bitterness serves as a warning sign of poisons.Among humans, taste perception begins to fade at an older age because of loss of tongue papillae and a general decrease in saliva production. Humans can also have distortion of tastes (dysgeusia). Not all mammals share the same taste modalities: some rodents can taste starch (which humans cannot), cats cannot taste sweetness, and several other carnivores including hyenas, dolphins, and sea lions, have lost the ability to sense up to four of their ancestral five taste modalities.


  1. taste

    Taste refers to the sensation experienced through the perception and evaluation of flavors by the tongue and other taste receptors in the mouth. It is one of the five basic senses and allows individuals to distinguish and discern different qualities and characteristics of food and beverages, such as sweetness, bitterness, acidity, saltiness, and umami. Taste also involves the interpretation and enjoyment of these flavor sensations, which can vary among individuals due to personal preferences and cultural influences.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tasteverb

    to try by the touch; to handle; as, to taste a bow

  2. Tasteverb

    to try by the touch of the tongue; to perceive the relish or flavor of (anything) by taking a small quantity into a mouth. Also used figuratively

  3. Tasteverb

    to try by eating a little; to eat a small quantity of

  4. Tasteverb

    to become acquainted with by actual trial; to essay; to experience; to undergo

  5. Tasteverb

    to partake of; to participate in; -- usually with an implied sense of relish or pleasure

  6. Tasteverb

    to try food with the mouth; to eat or drink a little only; to try the flavor of anything; as, to taste of each kind of wine

  7. Tasteverb

    to have a smack; to excite a particular sensation, by which the specific quality or flavor is distinguished; to have a particular quality or character; as, this water tastes brackish; the milk tastes of garlic

  8. Tasteverb

    to take sparingly

  9. Tasteverb

    to have perception, experience, or enjoyment; to partake; as, to taste of nature's bounty

  10. Tastenoun

    the act of tasting; gustation

  11. Tastenoun

    a particular sensation excited by the application of a substance to the tongue; the quality or savor of any substance as perceived by means of the tongue; flavor; as, the taste of an orange or an apple; a bitter taste; an acid taste; a sweet taste

  12. Tastenoun

    the one of the five senses by which certain properties of bodies (called their taste, savor, flavor) are ascertained by contact with the organs of taste

  13. Tastenoun

    intellectual relish; liking; fondness; -- formerly with of, now with for; as, he had no taste for study

  14. Tastenoun

    the power of perceiving and relishing excellence in human performances; the faculty of discerning beauty, order, congruity, proportion, symmetry, or whatever constitutes excellence, particularly in the fine arts and belles-letters; critical judgment; discernment

  15. Tastenoun

    manner, with respect to what is pleasing, refined, or in accordance with good usage; style; as, music composed in good taste; an epitaph in bad taste

  16. Tastenoun

    essay; trial; experience; experiment

  17. Tastenoun

    a small portion given as a specimen; a little piece tastted of eaten; a bit

  18. Tastenoun

    a kind of narrow and thin silk ribbon


  1. Taste

    Taste, gustatory perception, or gustation is one of the five traditional senses. Taste is the sensation produced when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with receptors of taste buds. Taste, along with smell and trigeminal nerve stimulation, determines flavors, the sensory impressions of food or other substances. Humans perceive taste through sensory organs called taste buds, or gustatory calyculi, concentrated on the top of the tongue. The tongue is covered with thousands of small bumps called papillae, which are easily visible to the naked eye. Within each papilla are hundreds of taste buds, the organ of taste transduction. There are between 2000 and 5000 taste buds that are located on the back and front of the tongue. Others are located on the roof, sides and back of the mouth, and in the throat. Each taste bud contains 50 to 100 taste receptor cells. Taste perception fades with age: On average, people lose half their taste receptors by time they turn 20. The sensation of taste can be categorized into five basic tastes: sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami. Taste buds are able to differentiate among different tastes through detecting interaction with different molecules or ions. Sweet, umami, and bitter tastes are triggered by the binding of molecules to G protein-coupled receptors on the cell membranes of taste buds. Saltiness and sourness are perceived when alkali metal or hydrogen ions enter taste buds, respectively. As taste senses both harmful and beneficial things, all basic tastes are classified as either aversive or appetitive, depending upon the effect the things they sense have on our bodies. Sweetness helps to identify energy-rich foods, while bitterness serves as a warning sign of poisons.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Taste

    tāst, v.t. to try or perceive by the touch of the tongue or palate: to try by eating a little: to eat a little of: to partake of: to relish, enjoy: to experience: (Shak.) to enjoy carnally.—v.i. to try or perceive by the mouth: to have a flavour of.—n. the act or sense of tasting: the particular sensation caused by a substance on the tongue: the sense by which we perceive the flavour of a thing: the quality or flavour of anything: a small portion: intellectual relish or discernment: the faculty by which the mind perceives the beautiful: nice perception: choice, predilection.—adjs. Tāst′able, that may be tasted; Taste′ful, full of taste: having a high relish: showing good taste.—adv. Taste′fully.—n. Taste′fulness.—adj. Taste′less, without taste: insipid.—adv. Taste′lessly.—ns. Taste′lessness; Tāst′er, one skilful in distinguishing flavours by the taste: one whose duty it is to test the quality of food by tasting it before serving it to his master.—adv. Tāst′ily, with good taste, neatly.—n. Tāst′ing, the act or sense of tasting.—adj. Tāst′y, having a good taste: possessing nice perception of excellence: in conformity with good taste.—To one's taste, to one's liking, agreeable. [O. Fr. taster (Fr. tâter), as if from Low L. taxitāre—L. taxāre, to touch repeatedly, to estimate—tangĕre, to touch.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. taste

    1. The quality in a program that tends to be inversely proportional to the number of features, hacks, and kluges programmed into it. Also tasty, tasteful, tastefulness. “This feature comes in N tasty flavors.” Although tasty and flavorful are essentially synonyms, taste and flavor are not. Taste refers to sound judgment on the part of the creator; a program or feature can exhibit taste but cannot have taste. On the other hand, a feature can have flavor. Also, flavor has the additional meaning of ‘kind’ or ‘variety’ not shared by taste. The marked sense of flavor is more popular than taste, though both are widely used. See also elegant. 2. Alt. sp. of tayste.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Taste

    The ability to detect chemicals through gustatory receptors in the mouth, including those on the TONGUE; the PALATE; the PHARYNX; and the EPIGLOTTIS.

Editors Contribution

  1. taste

    To sense food or drink.

    We love to taste our food.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 17, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. taste

    Song lyrics by taste -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by taste on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. TASTE

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Taste is ranked #110825 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Taste surname appeared 159 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Taste.

    89.3% or 142 total occurrences were Black.
    4.4% or 7 total occurrences were White.
    3.7% or 6 total occurrences were of two or more races.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'taste' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2974

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'taste' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2966

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'taste' in Nouns Frequency: #1063

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'taste' in Verbs Frequency: #856

Anagrams for taste »

  1. state

  2. State

  3. teats

  4. testa

  5. tates

How to pronounce taste?

How to say taste in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of taste in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of taste in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of taste in a Sentence

  1. Roxanne Spruance:

    Gold leaf doesn’t really have a taste other than being metallic.

  2. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

    There is nothing more frightful than imagination without taste.

  3. Zhao Yan:

    The most obvious one is that in Europe and the United States quite a few people lost their sense of taste and smell, (but) we saw very few such cases.

  4. Chris Beck:

    Taking them into a pro-life, abortion discussion (was) very poor taste and judgment, i would not want my four-year-old going to that forum. He can't fully comprehend that stuff. He likes dinosaurs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers.

  5. Jenny Ruelas:

    I started getting weird rashes around my body and I had a fever. I had a headache. I did have weakness. For two days, I couldn't walk or move. It would burn to open my eyes, definitely chest pain all the time and pain in my back, which was my lungs. I did have loss of taste and smell. I definitely couldn't eat. I would vomit.

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Translations for taste

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"taste." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 5 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/taste>.

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    excessively agitated; distraught with fear or other violent emotion
    • A. abrupt
    • B. frantic
    • C. witless
    • D. handsome

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