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 Ads that run across YouTube are at high risk of appearing next to unsavory or outright inappropriate content. Dr. Augustine Fou, Forbes, "How To Buy Digital Media And Minimize Ad Fraud," 19 Apr. 2021 Harris is not the first vice president to get handed a politically unsavory task. BostonGlobe.com, "For her first major task as VP, Kamala Harris is handed a thorny diplomatic mission," 6 Apr. 2021 The feminist movement at the time still tended to treat lesbians as an albatross, an unsavory faction that undermined the movement’s credibility. Sasha Archibald, The New Yorker, "The Photo Book That Let Lesbians See Themselves," 4 Apr. 2021 The lack of oversight makes penny stocks easy targets for scammers, which has long accounted for their unsavory reputation. New York Times, "Penny Stocks Are Booming, Which Is Good News for Swindlers," 18 Mar. 2021 Plus there’s no risk of backlash for retweeting unsavory accounts. BostonGlobe.com, "Trump addresses GOP as power to shape national debate wanes," 10 Apr. 2021 The tendency is to view them as unsavory interlopers and nonprofit hospitals as the virtuous baseline. Ge Bai And David A. Hyman Reprints, STAT, "Tax exemptions for nonprofit hospitals: It’s time taxpayers get their money’s worth," 9 Apr. 2021 But since news of the criminal investigation and allegations of other unsavory behavior have emerged, Arizona’s GOP members have avoided discussing Gaetz’s situation. Ronald J. Hansen, The Arizona Republic, "Reps. Debbie Lesko, David Schweikert mum on money from Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida," 6 Apr. 2021 Another facet to keep in mind is the possibility of bad actors that are somehow able to overtake the cloud of a fleet operator or that can manage to implant unsavory code into the AI driving systems. Lance Eliot, Forbes, "Here’s Why Some Are Vehemently And Diametrically Opposed To Self-Driving Cars," 5 Apr. 2021

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

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unsavory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsavory. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of unsavory

: unpleasant or offensive

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