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[sey-ver] /ˈseɪ vər/
the quality in a substance that affects the sense of taste or of smell.
a particular taste or smell.
distinctive quality or property.
power to excite or interest.
Archaic. repute.
verb (used without object)
to have savor, taste, or odor.
to exhibit the peculiar characteristics; smack (often followed by of):
His business practices savor of greed.
verb (used with object)
to give a savor to; season; flavor.
to perceive by taste or smell, especially with relish:
to savor the garden's odors.
to give oneself to the enjoyment of:
to savor the best in life.
Also, especially British, savour.
Origin of savor
1175-1225; (noun) Middle English sav(o)ur < Old French savour < Latin sapōrem, accusative of sapor taste, derivative of sapere to taste (cf. sapient); (v.) Middle English sav(o)uren < Old French savourer < Late Latin sapōrāre, derivative of sapor
Related forms
savorer, noun
savoringly, adverb
savorless, adjective
savorous, adjective
outsavor, verb (used with object)
unsavored, adjective
Can be confused
savior, savor, savory.
1. relish, smack; odor, scent, fragrance. See taste.
Usage note
See -or1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for savors
Historical Examples
  • Anything that savors of the pedantic is to be strictly avoided.

    College Teaching Paul Klapper
  • But anything that savors of injustice exasperates me to the degree of frenzy.

    The House

    Eugene Field
  • It is, perhaps, too intimate; it savors slightly of the Mrchen.

    The Translations of Beowulf Chauncey Brewster Tinker
  • It savors of kitchen mechanics, and, what is more, I do not wear a bonnet.

    Sisters Grace May North
  • Methinks it savors of the fashions of the late queen's reign.

  • Between thee and me, I cannot endure affectation,—it savors of the country.

    Children of the Soil Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • Its walls are royal, and, the fact is, I hate everything that savors of royalty.

    Nasby in Exile David R. Locke
  • It had about it odors of the East; savors of Araby the blest.

    The Believing Years Edmund Lester Pearson
  • But I must say no more on this head, even to a friend; it savors so much of vanity.

  • I will take Idella to the savors' to-morrow—or no; I'll have them come here!

    Annie Kilburn William Dean Howells
Word Origin and History for savors



mid-13c., from Old French savor "flavor, taste; sauce, seasoning; delight, pleasure," from Latin saporem (nominative sapor) "taste, flavor," related to sapere "to have a flavor" (see sapient).



c.1300, from Old French savorer "taste, breathe in; appreciate, care for," from Late Latin saporare, from Latin sapor (see savor (n.)). Related: Savored; savoring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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