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Taste, subst. 1) the sense the organs of which are the tongue and the palate, and by which we perceive the relish of things: “what banquet wert thou to the t.” Ven. 445. “nor t., nor smell, desire to be invited,” Sonn. 141, 7. “never meat sweet-savoured in thy t.” Err. II, 2, 119. “love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in t.” LLL IV, 3, 339. “come to my natural t.” Mids. IV, 1, 179. “sans teeth, sans eyes, sans t.” As II, 7, 166. “the ear, t., touch and smell,” Tim. I, 2, 132. “will the cold brook . . . caudle thy morning t.” IV, 3, 226. “inventions to delight the t.” Per. I, 4, 40.
Applied to the mind, == intellectual relish and discernment: “which we of t. and feeling are,” LLL IV, 2, 30 (Sir Nathaniel's speech).
2) the particular manner in which this sense is affected; the sensation which a thing produces on the tongue and palate: “that sweet coral mouth, whose precious taste her thirsty lips well knew,” Ven. 543. the petty streams . . . add to his (the ocean's) “flow, but alter not his t.” Lucr. 651. “his t. delicious, in digestion souring, devours his will,” Lucr. 651 thy sugared tongue (turns) “to bitter wormwood t.” Lucr. 651 “began to loathe the t. of sweetness,” H4A III, 2, 72. “this bitter t. yield his engrossments to the ending father,” H4B IV, 5, 79. “do you like the t.?” H6A III, 2, 44. “when, both your voices blended, the greatest t. most palates theirs,” Cor. III, 1, 103. “till the fresh t. be taken from that clearness,” Tit. III, 1, 128.
In a moral sense: “thou shalt not know the stained t. of violated troth,” Lucr. 1059. thou didst rob it (our house) “of some t. of tediousness,” Merch. II, 3, 3. “this affliction has a t. as sweet as any cordial comfort,” Wint. V, 3, 76. “bitter shame hath spoiled the sweet world's t.” John III, 4, 110. “not palating the t. of her dishonour,” Troil. IV, 1, 59. whose qualification shall “come into no true t. again but by the displanting of Cassio,” Oth. II, 1, 283 (all will be distasted, though they should seem appeased for the moment. Qq trust). cf. sub 6 Mcb. V, 5, 9.
3) a flavour of something extraneous to the thing itself; a relish, a tang, a tincture: “nor hath love's mind of any judgment t.” Mids. I, 1, 236. “my father did something smack, something grow to, he had a kind of t.” Merch. II, 2, 19. “my negation hath no t. of madness,” Troil. V, 2, 127. Hence in some t. == in some sort: “and in some t. is Lepidus but so,” Caes. IV, 1, 34.
4) the act of trying by the tongue; gustation; metaphorically: “take a t. of my finding him, and relish it with good observance,” As III, 2, 246. “now I begin to relish thy advice, and I will give a t. of it forthwith to Agamemnon,” Troil. I, 3, 389.
5) trial, experiment; proof; specimen: “for a t.” As III, 2, 106. “till that the nobles . . . have of their puissance made a little t.” H4B II, 3, 52. “have we not had a t. of his obedience?” Cor. III, 1, 318. “I do beseech you, as in way of t., to give me now a little benefit,” Troil. III, 3, 13 (cf. As III, 2, 106). “give us a t. of your quality,” Hml. II, 2, 452. “he wrote this but as an essay or t. of my virtue,” Lr. I, 2, 47.
6) the act of eating or drinking: “the sweetest honey is loathsome in his own deliciousness and in the t. confounds the appetite,” Rom. II, 6, 13. Metaphorically == the act of feeling or experiencing sth.; a) enjoyment: “but yet be blamed, if thou thyself deceivest by wilful t. of what thyself refusest,” Sonn. 40, 8. “the setting sun, and music at the close, as the last t. of sweets, is sweetest last,” R2 II, 1, 13. b) painful sense, suffering: “that man is not alive might so have tempted him as you have done, without the t. of danger and reproof,” H4A III, 1, 175. “if you give him life, after the t. of much correction,” H5 II, 2, 51. the t. whereof (death) “God of his mercy give you patience to endure,” H5 II, 2, 51 “I have almost forgot the t. of fears,” Mcb. V, 5, 9.
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