Basic+ Word of the Day: spice

spice (noun, verb) past tense: spiced LISTEN

Spice is a strong- or sweet-smelling vegetable substance used to give flavor to food.

  • Pumpkin spice is usually a combination of ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
  • Which spices do you use in chili?

Spice also means ‘to add flavor to food with spices.’

  • Dev's mom spices the chicken with turmeric and cumin.

Spice can also mean ‘to give liveliness to something.’

  • Professor Jones spiced up his lecture with stories of his adventures.

Don't confuse it with

Do you know the difference between spices and herbs? Spices are the seeds, bark and roots of plants, while herbs are the leaves. Cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and cumin are spices. Oregano, cilantro, dill and thyme are herbs.

Related words

spicy: having or containing spice. Example: “Mexican food can be very spicy.”

In pop culture

Just as you can spice up your food to make it taste more interesting, you can also spice up your life. The Spice Girls was certainly an interesting girl band. Watch their video of their song “Spice up Your Life.”

There are other meanings of spice.
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