Definition of umami in English:



  • A category of taste in food (besides sweet, sour, salt, and bitter), corresponding to the flavor 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’.’



/o͞oːˌmäːmē/ /uːˌmɑːmi/ /o͞oˌmämē/ /uˌmɑmi/ /o͞o:ˌmä:mē/ /u:ˌmɑ:mi/


Japanese, literally ‘deliciousness’.