un·​sa·​vory | \ ˌən-ˈsā-və-rē How to pronounce unsavory (audio) , -ˈsāv-rē\

Definition of unsavory

2a : unpleasant to taste or smell
b : disagreeable, distasteful an unsavory assignment especially : morally offensive unsavory business practices

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Examples of unsavory in a Sentence

He is an unsavory character. an unsavory blend of spices that simply overwhelmed the fish's delicate flavor

Recent Examples on the Web

Another unsavory source in San Francisco — and other cities with high numbers of people living on the streets — is human feces tainted with marijuana. Laura Klivans, chicagotribune.com, "Legal weed’s a growing danger to dogs, so keep your canine out of your cannabis," 10 July 2019 Still, the allegations against Andrew further enhanced the prince’s reputation for falling into what Vanity Fair called a dissolute lifestyle and a habit of currying friendships and financial favors from unsavory international figures. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Donald Trump and Prince Andrew met up in London ahead of Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest on new sex trafficking charges," 8 July 2019 But thanks to another of the backroom (unsavory, some might say) deals that have long been the hallmark of European politics, Von der Leyen became the common-denominator compromise choice to lead the European Union’s executive arm in Brussels. Erik Kirschbaum, latimes.com, "She's about to be one of the most powerful women in Europe. Who is Ursula von der Leyen?," 3 July 2019 Offering licenses to businesses beyond those already involved in the state's medical program could give the program a free-market appeal, but the prospect of hundreds of dispensaries across the state also may seem unsavory to voters. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "10 things to look for in a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona," 29 June 2019 Jon goes out to sell raffle tickets for a school fundraiser to the neighbors, and encounters a number of strangers — some more unsavory than others. Constance Grady, Vox, "We read all 25 National Book Award finalists for 2018. Here’s what we thought.," 15 Nov. 2018 Another unsavory source in San Francisco — and other cities with high numbers of people living on the streets — is human feces tainted with marijuana. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive.com, "Ruh-roh: What happens when your dog gets into your weed stash," 23 June 2019 In any case, many cities and neighborhoods are having none of it — whether a new development is public, subsidized or market-rate, existing homeowners tend to oppose it, for a variety reasons that range from the innocuous to the unsavory. Noah Smith, Twin Cities, "Noah Smith: America’s battle over housing is just getting started," 16 June 2019 Ortíz couldn't avoid running across unsavory characters on the Santo Domingo social scene but kept his distance once he was warned about their shady backgrounds, the friend said. CBS News, "Second arrest made in David Ortiz shooting," 12 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unsavory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of unsavory

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for unsavory

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for unsavory

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

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English Language Learners Definition of unsavory

: unpleasant or offensive

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unsavory

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Spanish Central: Translation of unsavory

Britannica English: Translation of unsavory for Arabic Speakers

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food or victuals

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