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[sey-vuh-ree] /ˈseɪ və ri/
adjective, savorier, savoriest.
pleasant or agreeable in taste or smell:
a savory aroma.
a savory jelly.
pleasing, attractive, or agreeable.
noun, plural savories.
British. an aromatic, often spicy course or dish served either as an appetizer or as a dessert, as pickled fish or brandied fruit.
Also, especially British, savoury.
Origin of savory1
1175-1225; Middle English savori (see savor, -y1); replacing Middle English savure < Old French savoure, past participle of savourer to savor
Related forms
savorily, adverb
savoriness, noun
1, 2. See palatable.


[sey-vuh-ree] /ˈseɪ və ri/
noun, plural savories.
any of several aromatic herbs belonging to the genus Satureja, of the mint family, especially S. hortensis (summer savory) or S. montana (winter savory) having narrow leaves used in cookery.
1350-1400; Middle English saverey, perhaps for Old English sætherie < Latin saturēia (whence also Old English saturege, Middle English satureie) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for savory
  • Study subjects who expressed a preference for sweet over savory tastes also tended to be more agreeable.
  • Heat the chicken fat in a deep skillet, add the celery, scallions and savory and saute for a few minutes.
  • We certainly have diplomatic recognition with far less savory governments.
  • Design a backyard garden and harvest your own savory produce.
  • But you can also go the savory route and make breads to complement your dinner course.
  • savory or sweet, plain or flavored, it aims to please.
  • Su bin: flaky pastries with savory and sweet fillings.
  • Mushrooms lend a meaty element to this savory mixture, and the kale packs a nutritious punch.
  • Judging by the anti-Western vitriol of your post, that would be a savory irony.
  • Cafeteria cuisine can be forgettable-but the people you dine with can make lunchtime a savory experience.
British Dictionary definitions for savory


noun (pl) -vories
any of numerous aromatic plants of the genus Satureja, esp S. montana (winter savory) and S. hortensis (summer savory), of the Mediterranean region, having narrow leaves and white, pink, or purple flowers: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
the leaves of any of these plants, used as a potherb
Word Origin
C14: probably from Old English sætherie, from Latin saturēia, of obscure origin


attractive to the sense of taste or smell
salty or spicy; not sweet: a savoury dish
noun (pl) -vouries
a savoury dish served as an hors d'oeuvre or dessert
Derived Forms
savourily, (US) savorily, adverb
savouriness, (US) savoriness, noun
Word Origin
C13 savure, from Old French savouré, from savourer to savour
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for savory

"pleasing in taste or smell," c.1200, from Old French savore "tasty, flavorsome" (Modern French savouré), past participle of savourer "to taste" (see savor (n.)).


aromatic mint, late 14c., perhaps an alteration of Old English sæþerie, which is ultimately from Latin satureia "savory (n.)," a foreign word in Latin. But early history of the word suggests transmission via Old French savereie. In either case, the form of the word probably was altered by influence of the Middle English or Old French form of savory (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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