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

From the report: On a conservative news site called the NTK Network, dozens of articles blasted Google and Apple for unsavory business practices. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook has a growing morale problem," 15 Nov. 2018 Heavy drinking, drugs, screwing in the dry-goods area, unappetizing revelations about bad food-handling and unsavory industry-wide practices. Deirdre Donahue, USA TODAY, "Our review: Anthony Bourdain's 'Kitchen Confidential' captured restaurants' demented glory," 8 June 2018 In one unsavory incident, England winger Raheem Sterling cupped his ears after scoring England’s fifth goal and Montenegro fans responded with jeers before an object — reportedly a lighter — was thrown onto the field. Rob Harris, The Seattle Times, "PM May wants ‘swift action’ on racial abuse of England stars," 26 Mar. 2019 GoFundMe's laudable mission – to facilitate fundraising for worthy causes and goals – has attracted its share of unsavory types looking to exploit tragedies, and the public’s compassion. Elizabeth Llorente, Fox News, "Some outlandish GoFundMe scams from recent years," 12 Sep. 2018 Don’t use this trick to try and mask unsavory odors in the glass. Michael Austin, chicagotribune.com, "Pour wine to savor and enjoy, not guzzle," 28 Feb. 2018 From this perspective, Mr. Putin looks less like a malign force bent on dismantling the cathedral of liberty and more like an unsavory but potentially useful partner. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Is Helsinki Trump’s Iran Deal?," 16 July 2018 Otherwise, skipping just a day will be evident by way of unsavory flaking and sallowness. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "The Pro’s Guide to Managing Sensitive Skin This Winter," 27 Dec. 2018 Among the unsavory characters who found refuge in 1934 at 334 Riverside, which by then had been renovated into a rooming house, was the book’s title character — Bernard (Bennie the Bum) McMahon. Sam Roberts, New York Times, "Escape from New York, or Embracing It Within One City Block," 31 Jan. 2018

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

20 Apr 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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More from Merriam-Webster on unsavory

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unsavory

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unsavory

Spanish Central: Translation of unsavory

Britannica English: Translation of unsavory for Arabic Speakers

Comments on unsavory

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to mark by some ceremony or observation

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