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 For years, Tom Nook has been dogged by his unsavory reputation. Mikhail Klimentov, Washington Post, "Nintendo says Tom Nook is a 'good guy.’ They’re right, and not for the reasons you think.," 9 Apr. 2020 With regards to Hunter Biden, taking excessive advantage of his father’s name is unsavory, but also not a crime. New York Times, "Full Transcript: Mitt Romney’s Speech Announcing Vote to Convict Trump," 5 Feb. 2020 Biden has raised money from all sorts of unsavory people; one of his top aides is a former lobbyist for a number of drug companies and the American Hospital Association. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "Biden’s Path to Party Unity Begins With Concessions," 23 Apr. 2020 As Jürgen Locadia previously indicated to Cincinnati.com, playing without fans and observers in-stadium is something of an unsavory proposition. Pat Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati's Spencer Richey: Players are discussing the possibility of wage cuts as talks with MLS owners continue," 21 Apr. 2020 Double Shot was once an unsavory MTV dating show starring the twin sisters Rikki and Vikki (Season One) and then Jersey Shore’s Vinny Gaudagnino and Pauly D (Season Two). Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, "A Dating Show Fit for a Pandemic," 19 Apr. 2020 On Monday, Amazon fired one worker who organized a walkout—a situation whose negative optics were compounded when unsavory remarks about the worker made by one executive came to light, per a memo leaked to Vice. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "From more jobs to Prime perks, Amazon’s list of coronavirus efforts is long—and growing," 3 Apr. 2020 The scam involves Kendra deploying an unsavory pedophile of a Syrian informant (Kayvan Novak) in the FBI’s entrapment scheme. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "’The Day Shall Come’ review: Anna Kendrick tries a little tenderness along with her FBI entrapment," 26 Sep. 2019 In recent weeks, some parents have asked for dismissals of their case, accusing the prosecutors of twisting the facts in an attempt to turn legal, if unsavory, practices into crimes. Kate Taylor, New York Times, "Photos Show Lori Loughlin’s Daughters Posing as Rowers, Prosecutors Say," 10 Apr. 2020

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

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Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unsavory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsavory. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for unsavory


How to pronounce unsavory (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unsavory

: unpleasant or offensive

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unsavory

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unsavory

Spanish Central: Translation of unsavory

Britannica English: Translation of unsavory for Arabic Speakers

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