garnish

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English garnysshen, from Old French garniss-, stem of certain forms of the verb garnir, guarnir, warnir (to provide, furnish, avert, defend, warn, fortify, garnish), from a conflation of Old Frankish *warnjan (to refuse, deny) and *warnōn (warn, protect, prepare, beware, guard oneself), from Proto-Germanic *warnijaną (to worry, care, heed) and Proto-Germanic *warnōną (to warn); both from Proto-Indo-European *wer- (to defend, protect, cover). Cognate with Old English wiernan (to withhold, be sparing of, deny, refuse, reject, decline, forbid, prevent from, avert) and warnian (to warn, caution, take warning, take heed, guard oneself against, deny). More at warn.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

garnish (third-person singular simple present garnishes, present participle garnishing, simple past and past participle garnished)

  1. To decorate with ornaments; to adorn; to embellish.
  2. (cooking) To ornament with something placed around it.
    a dish garnished with parsley
  3. (archaic) To furnish; to supply.
  4. (slang, archaic) To fit with fetters; to fetter.[1]
  5. (law) To warn by garnishment; to give notice to.
  6. (law) To have (money) set aside by court order (particularly for the payment of alleged debts); to garnishee.
    • 1966, Langston Hughes, “The Twenties: Harlem and Its Negritude” in Christopher C. De Santis (ed.), The Collected Works of Langston Hughes, Volume 9, p. 473,
      When the editorial board of Fire met again, we did not plan a new issue, but emptied our pockets to help poor Thurman whose wages were being garnished weekly because he had signed for the printer’s bills.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun[edit]

garnish (plural garnishes)

  1. A set of dishes, often pewter, containing a dozen pieces of several types.
  2. Pewter vessels in general.
    • 1882, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, volume 4, page 478:
      The accounts of collegiate and monastic institutions give abundant entries of the price of pewter vessels, called also garnish.
  3. Something added for embellishment.
    Synonyms: decoration, ornament
    • 1718, Matthew Prior, Alma: or, The Progress of the Mind, Canto 1, in Poems on Several Occasions, London: Jacob Tonson, p. 333,[5]
      First Poets, all the World agrees,
      Write half to profit, half to please
      Matter and figure They produce;
      For Garnish This, and That for Use;
    • 1872, George Eliot, Middlemarch, Book I, Chapter 12,[6]
      This hard-headed old Overreach approved of the sentimental song, as the suitable garnish for girls, and also as fundamentally fine, sentiment being the right thing for a song.
    • 1972, William Trevor, “The Grass Widows” in The Collected Stories, New York: Viking, 1992, p. 228,[7]
      There had been a semblance of chivalry in the attitude from which, at the beginning of their marriage, he had briefly regarded her; but forty-seven years had efficiently disposed of that garnish of politeness.
  4. Clothes; garments, especially when showy or decorative.
  5. (cooking) Something set round or upon a dish as an embellishment.
  6. (slang, obsolete) Fetters.
  7. (slang, historical) A fee; specifically, in English jails, formerly an unauthorized fee demanded from a newcomer by the older prisoners.
    • 1699, B. E., A New Dictionary of the Canting Crew, London: W. Hawes et al.,[8]
      Garnish money, what is customarily spent among the Prisoners at first coming in.
    • 1751 December (indicated as 1752), Henry Fielding, chapter 3, in Amelia. [], volume I, London: [] [William Strahan] for A[ndrew] Millar [], OCLC 1159707239, book I, page 13:
      This person then [] acquainted him that it was the custom of the place for every prisoner, upon his first arrival there, to give something to the former prisoners to make them drink. This, he said, was what they called garnish; and concluded with advising his new customer to draw his purse upon the present occasion.
  8. (US, slang) Cash.[2]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language, 1755.[1]
  2. ^ Tom Dalzell (ed.), The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang and Unconventional English, New York: Routledge, 8th edition, 1984.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Noun[edit]

garnish

  1. Alternative form of garnyssh