[sey-vuh-ree]Chiefly British

adjective, sa·vour·i·er, sa·vour·i·est, noun, plural sa·vour·ies.



adjective, sa·vor·i·er, sa·vor·i·est.

pleasant or agreeable in taste or smell: a savory aroma.
piquant: a savory jelly.
pleasing, attractive, or agreeable.

noun, plural sa·vor·ies.

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, sa·vour·y.

Origin of savory

1175–1225; Middle English savori (see savor, -y1); replacing Middle English savure < Old French savoure, past participle of savourer to savor
Related formssa·vor·i·ly, adverbsa·vor·i·ness, noun
Can be confusedsavior savor savory

Synonyms for savory

1, 2. See palatable. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for savoury

Historical Examples of savoury

  • 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.


    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

British Dictionary definitions for savoury


US savory


attractive to the sense of taste or smell
salty or spicy; not sweeta savoury dish

noun plural -vouries

a savoury dish served as an hors d'oeuvre or dessert
Derived Formssavourily or US savorily, adverbsavouriness or US savoriness, noun

Word Origin for savoury

C13 savure, from Old French savouré, from savourer to savour


noun plural -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 for savory

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

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