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90s Slang You Should Know


[uhn-sey-vuh-ree] /ʌnˈseɪ və ri/
not savory; tasteless or insipid:
an unsavory meal.
unpleasant in taste or smell; distasteful.
unappealing or disagreeable, as a pursuit:
Poor teachers can make education unsavory.
socially or morally objectionable or offensive:
an unsavory past; an unsavory person.
Also, especially British, unsavoury.
Origin of unsavory
Middle English word dating back to 1175-1225; See origin at un-1, savory1
Related forms
unsavorily, adverb
unsavoriness, noun
1. flat, unappetizing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unsavory
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Sugar coat it as they may, that is the unsavory pill in the motive of every one of them.

  • Yes; it has an unsavory odor, as M. de Treville used to say.

    The Man in the Iron Mask Alexandre Dumas, Pere
  • Squalor was on every hand, and many individuals of unsavory reputations made this locality their headquarters.

    The Boy Broker Frank A. Munsey
  • The colds were caused by the northeast wind of unsavory reputation!

    Preventable Diseases Woods Hutchinson
  • An unsavory but beautiful cherub of eight or so, smoking a cigarette, tried to sell me a baby lizard.

    Jane Journeys On Ruth Comfort Mitchell
Word Origin and History for unsavory

early 13c., "tasteless, insipid," from un- (1) "not" + savory (adj.). Meaning "unpleasant or disagreeable to the taste" is attested from late 14c.; of persons, from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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