• synonyms


  1. the quality in a substance that affects the sense of taste or of smell.
  2. a particular taste or smell.
  3. distinctive quality or property.
  4. power to excite or interest.
  5. Archaic. repute.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to have savor, taste, or odor.
  2. to exhibit the peculiar characteristics; smack (often followed by of): His business practices savor of greed.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to give a savor to; season; flavor.
  2. to perceive by taste or smell, especially with relish: to savor the garden's odors.
  3. to give oneself to the enjoyment of: to savor the best in life.
Show More
Also especially British, sa·vour.

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 formssa·vor·er, nounsa·vor·ing·ly, adverbsa·vor·less, adjectivesa·vor·ous, adjectiveout·sa·vor, verb (used with object)un·sa·vored, adjective
Can be confusedsavior savor savory

Synonyms for savor

Usage note

See -or1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for savour

Historical Examples of savour

  • Heaven forbid that their conduct, in one particular, should savour of injustice.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327


  • In fact, such a deed might savour of jealousy and covetousness.

  • Thus, earnest resolution has often seemed to have about it almost a savour of omnipotence.


    Samuel Smiles

  • He smiled cruelly, his own anxieties forgotten in the savour of vengeance.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

  • It has the tang of the soil as well as the savour of the blood.

    The Balladists

    John Geddie

British Dictionary definitions for savour


US savor

  1. the quality in a substance that is perceived by the sense of taste or smell
  2. a specific taste or smellthe savour of lime
  3. a slight but distinctive quality or trace
  4. the power to excite interestthe savour of wit has been lost
  5. archaic reputation
Show More
  1. (intr often foll by of) to possess the taste or smell (of)
  2. (intr often foll by of) to have a suggestion (of)
  3. (tr) to give a taste to; season
  4. (tr) to taste or smell, esp appreciatively
  5. (tr) to relish or enjoy
Show More
Derived Formssavourless or US savorless, adjectivesavorous, adjective

Word Origin for savour

C13: from Old French savour, from Latin sapor taste, from sapere to taste
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

Word Origin and History for savour

chiefly British English spelling of savor (q.v.); for spelling, see -or. Related: Savoured; savouring.

Show More



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).

Show More



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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper