1. Species; kind. The spices of penance ben three. (Chaucer) Abstain you from all evil spice. (Wyclif (1. Thess,v. 22)) Justice, although it be but one entire virtue, yet is described in two kinds of spices. The one is named justice distributive, the other is called commutative. (Sir T. Elyot)
2. A vegetable production of many kinds, fragrant or aromatic and pungent to the taste, as pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, ginger, cloves, etc, which are used in cookery and to flavor sauces, pickles, etc. Hast thou aught in thy purse [bag] any hot spices? (Piers Plowman)
3. Figuratively, that which enriches or alters the quality of a thing in a small degree, as spice alters the taste of food; that which gives zest or pungency; a slight flavoring; a relish; hence, a small quantity or admixture; a sprinkling; as, a spice of mischief. So much of the will, with a spice of the willful. (Coleridge)
Origin: OE. Spice, spece, spice, species, OF. Espice, espece, F. Epice spice, espece species, fr. L. Species particular sort or kind, a species, a sight, appearance, show, LL, spices, drugs, etc, of the same sort, fr. L. Specere to look. See Spy, and cf. Species.
1. To season with spice, or as with spice; to mix aromatic or pungent substances with; to flavor; to season; as, to spice wine; to spice one's words with wit. She 'll receive thee, but will spice thy bread With flowery poisons. (Chapman)
Origin: Spiced; Spicing.