View synonyms for unsavory


[ uhn-sey-vuh-ree ]


  1. not savory; tasteless or insipid:

    an unsavory meal.

    Synonyms: unappetizing, flat

  2. unpleasant in taste or smell; distasteful.
  3. unappealing or disagreeable, as a pursuit:

    Poor teachers can make education unsavory.

  4. socially or morally objectionable or offensive:

    an unsavory past; an unsavory person.

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Other Words From

  • un·savor·i·ly adverb
  • un·savor·i·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of unsavory1

Middle English word dating back to 1175–1225; un- 1, savory 1

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Example Sentences

Many feared the US would make unsavory concessions to China to ensure climate change progress.

From Vox

Popular media has been warning us about the ability of unsavory marketers and other bad actors to predict and even control our choices using the latest in tracking and artificial intelligence technologies.

From Fortune

Some who settled in town found work in the most unsavory parts of a family-owned packinghouse.

That nomination was withdrawn two weeks later, when GOP senators in vulnerable seats apparently complained about being forced to vote for such an unsavory character.

Of course, digital technology isn’t responsible for authoritarianism’s resurgence, but it gives crucial advantages to unsavory regimes.

It seems to me to be too unsavory a step but time will tell.

“Bomb Gaza,” one of the games on the site, drew unanimously unsavory media attention on Monday and was subsequently taken down.

Organicness, too, can offer a patina of healthfulness to unsavory substances.

Everyone knows that Game of Thrones is full of unsavory characters that behave in unsavory ways.

So as unsavory as it may feel, working with the moderate-aligned military is our only hope, writes Leslie H. Gelb.

Altogether I made rather a wicked game of viewing the poor girl in an unsavory light.

In these rages he called everybody who would bear it pigs, dogs, and other more unsavory nicknames.

Here on the heights we have none of the disadvantages of Naples, the noise, the unsavory odors, or the uncleanliness.

He swore with force and piquancy, and original embellishments for old-time oaths which was like a sharp sauce to an unsavory dish.

The tale was a ghastly burlesque, its humor of the most disheartening, unsavory sort.


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unsaturated fatsunsavoury