sa·​vory | \ ˈsā-və-rē How to pronounce savory (audio) , ˈsāv-rē \
variants: or chiefly British savoury

Definition of savory

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: having savor: such as
a : piquantly pleasant to the mind a savory triumph
b : morally exemplary : edifying … scandals don't make very savory reading.— Green Peyton
c : pleasing to the sense of taste or smell especially by reason of effective seasoning a savory dinner the savory smells wafting from the kitchen
d : having a spicy or salty quality without sweetness an assortment of both sweet and savory appetizers
e : being, inducing, or marked by the rich or meaty taste sensation of umami savory flavors


noun (1)
variants: or chiefly British savoury
plural savories or chiefly British savouries

Definition of savory (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a small serving of food that is spicy or salty but not sweet Those tempted toward savories can nibble on smoked-salmon or lobster-rémoulade tea sandwiches.— Andy Birsh
2 : the taste sensation that is produced by several amino acids and nucleotides (such as glutamate and aspartate) and has a rich or meaty flavor characteristic of cheese, cooked meat, mushrooms, soy, and ripe tomatoes : umami


noun (2)
sa·​vo·​ry | \ ˈsā-və-rē How to pronounce savory (audio) , ˈsāv-rē \
plural savories

Definition of savory (Entry 3 of 3)

: either of two aromatic mints:

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Other Words from savory


savorily \ ˈsā-​və-​rə-​lē How to pronounce savory (audio) \ adverb
savoriness \ ˈsā-​və-​rē-​nəs How to pronounce savory (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for savory


palatable, appetizing, savory, tasty, toothsome mean agreeable or pleasant especially to the sense of taste. palatable often applies to something that is found to be merely agreeable. butterflies that birds find palatable appetizing suggests a whetting of the appetite and applies to aroma and appearance as well as taste. appetizing hors d'oeuvres savory applies to both taste and aroma and suggests piquancy and often spiciness. dumplings with savory fillings tasty implies a pronounced taste. a tart and tasty pie toothsome stresses the notion of agreeableness and sometimes implies tenderness or daintiness. an enticing array of toothsome desserts

Examples of savory in a Sentence

Adjective They prepared an assortment of both sweet and savory foods. cedar is one of the most savory of all woods

First Known Use of savory


13th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (1)

1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for savory

Noun (2)

Middle English saverey

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Time Traveler for savory

Time Traveler

The first known use of savory was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Savory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for savory



English Language Learners Definition of savory

: having a pleasant taste or smell
: having a spicy or salty quality without being sweet
: morally good


sa·​vo·​ry | \ ˈsā-və-rē How to pronounce savory (audio) \

Kids Definition of savory

: pleasing to the taste or smell savory sausages

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