Definition of umami in English:



mass noun
  • A category of taste in food (besides sweet, sour, salt, and bitter), corresponding to the flavour of glutamates, especially monosodium glutamate.

    • ‘Mammals can basically sense tastes of sweet, sour, bitterness, salt, and umami (the taste of monosodium glutamate).’
    • ‘Bitter, sweet, and umami flavours in food make the wine seem more bitter.’
    • ‘Saltiness in foods high in umami neutralizes the bitter or metallic tastes in the wine you drink with these foods.’
    • ‘The foods represent basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami (the fifth taste, savoriness).’
    • ‘The mouth senses five basic flavors: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami.’
    • ‘Some may play with salty and umami, but sweet, bitter and sour dominate, with sweet and bitter being the two we want to examine.’
    • ‘These recipes stem from my obsession with taste - or rather with the five tastes: sour, salty, umami, bitter, sweet.’
    • ‘This categorizes umami as a basic taste, not a flavor.’
    • ‘Mammals are able to perceive five basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami.’
    • ‘In 1909, shortly after the discovery of umami, monosodium glutamate, or MSG, began to be produced commercially.’
    • ‘But in recent years, food scientists have been studying a fifth taste, umami, which roughly translates into ‘delicious’ or ‘meaty.’’
    • ‘‘The fifth taste’, or umami as it's becoming known, is now broadly recognised as a distinct taste, alongside the traditional quartet of sweet, sour, salty and bitter.’
    • ‘These ingredients are high in natural umami tastes and make a nice ‘meaty’ stock with great color.’
    • ‘It will add both a salt and an umami taste to this salad.’
    • ‘Babies have very basic taste buds: it's believed that mother's milk offers two taste enhancements - sugar (as lactose) and umami (as glutamate) in the hope that one or other will get the little blighters drinking.’
    • ‘Professor Kikunae Ikeda officially discovers umami and identifies glutamate as the main cause of the sensation.’
    • ‘There is one integral component in Lee's food that other boys often miss - umami.’
    • ‘Fish sauce is high in umami, one of the five basic tastes recognized by the human tongue, along with saltiness, sourness, sweetness, and bitterness.’
    • ‘Researchers from the University of Miami have isolated a receptor that binds glutamate and have proposed that it underlies the umami taste.’
    • ‘In Japan, glutamate is known as umami, or the ‘fifth taste’.’


Japanese, literally ‘deliciousness’.