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[sey-vuh-ree] /ˈseɪ və ri/ Chiefly British
adjective, savourier, savouriest, noun, plural savouries.
savory1 .


[sey-vuh-ree] /ˈseɪ və ri/
adjective, savorier, savoriest.
pleasant or agreeable in taste or smell:
a savory aroma.
a savory jelly.
pleasing, attractive, or agreeable.
noun, plural savories.
British. an aromatic, often spicy course or dish served either as an appetizer or as a dessert, as pickled fish or brandied fruit.
Also, especially British, savoury.
Origin of savory1
1175-1225; Middle English savori (see savor, -y1); replacing Middle English savure < Old French savoure, past participle of savourer to savor
Related forms
savorily, adverb
savoriness, noun
Can be confused
savior, savor, savory.
1, 2. See palatable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for savoury
Historical Examples
  • The shop was nice and warm and full of the savoury smell of fresh baking.

    The Carpenter's Daughter Anna Bartlett Warner
  • When she did this it was an epicurean thing, savoury, hot, satisfying.

    Gigolo Edna Ferber
  • Not a few of us fail because we forget to make what we say savoury.

    Broken Bread Thomas Champness
  • "It is not a savoury subject," he continued, with sudden stiffness.

    The Longest Journey E. M. Forster
  • One of the oldest and most savoury of the regular forecastle dishes.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • A savoury sea dish, made of slices of cured fish and onions.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • The air was hot, and heavy with the fumes of Greek wines and savoury dishes.

    Stradella F(rancis) Marion Crawford
  • It was capable of cooking anything, from a sirloin to a savoury.

    Kiddie the Scout

    Robert Leighton
  • It often furnishes him with the substance for a savoury roast.

    The Death Shot Mayne Reid
  • Odours, not savoury, were therefore prevalent—but Eskimos are smell-proof.

    The Giant of the North R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for savoury


attractive to the sense of taste or smell
salty or spicy; not sweet: a savoury dish
noun (pl) -vouries
a savoury dish served as an hors d'oeuvre or dessert
Derived Forms
savourily, (US) savorily, adverb
savouriness, (US) savoriness, noun
Word Origin
C13 savure, from Old French savouré, from savourer to savour


noun (pl) -vories
any of numerous aromatic plants of the genus Satureja, esp S. montana (winter savory) and S. hortensis (summer savory), of the Mediterranean region, having narrow leaves and white, pink, or purple flowers: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
the leaves of any of these plants, used as a potherb
Word Origin
C14: probably from Old English sætherie, from Latin saturēia, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for savoury

chiefly British English spelling of savory; also see -or.



"pleasing in taste or smell," c.1200, from Old French savore "tasty, flavorsome" (Modern French savouré), past participle of savourer "to taste" (see savor (n.)).



aromatic mint, late 14c., perhaps an alteration of Old English sæþerie, which is ultimately from Latin satureia "savory (n.)," a foreign word in Latin. But early history of the word suggests transmission via Old French savereie. In either case, the form of the word probably was altered by influence of the Middle English or Old French form of savory (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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