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unsavory

[uhn-sey-vuh-ree]
adjective
  1. not savory; tasteless or insipid: an unsavory meal.
  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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Also especially British, un·sa·vour·y.

Origin of unsavory

Middle English word dating back to 1175–1225; see origin at un-1, savory1
Related formsun·sa·vor·i·ly, adverbun·sa·vor·i·ness, noun

Synonyms for unsavory

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

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British Dictionary definitions for unsavoury

unsavoury

US unsavory

adjective
  1. objectionable or distastefulan unsavoury character
  2. disagreeable in odour or taste
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Derived Formsunsavourily or US unsavorily, adverbunsavouriness or US unsavoriness, noun
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 unsavoury

unsavory

adj.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper