taste

Definitions

General English

  • noun one of the five senses, by which you can tell differences of flavour between things you eat, using your tongue
  • noun a flavour of something that you eat or drink
  • verb to notice the taste of something with your tongue
  • verb to try food or drink to see if you like it

Food

  • noun the flavour of a food or drink

Marketing

  • noun a very small quantity of something taken to try it out

Media Studies

  • noun the subjective judgement of individuals on such matters as dress, music, film etc.

Medical

  • noun one of the five senses, where food or substances in the mouth are noticed through the tongue

Origin & History of “taste”

The origins of taste are not entirely clear, but what does seem certain is that it is connected in some way with Latin tangere ‘touch’; indeed it was originally used for ‘touch’ in English (‘With that finger he will it taste if it is rightly wrought’, St Michael 1290), and its French relative tâter denotes ‘feel’. It was once generally supposed that it came from Latin taxāre ‘feel, assess’ (source of English tax), which was derived from tangere. The theory is that taxāre produced a vulgar Latin derivative *taxitāre, which turned into tastāre – whence Old French taster, and eventually English taste. Another theory has it, however, that *tastāre was a blend of tangere with Latin gustāre ‘taste’ (source of English gusto).
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