Denotation vs. Connotation


[sey-vuh-ree] /ˈseɪ və ri/ Chiefly British
adjective, savourier, savouriest, noun, plural savouries.
savory1 .


or (especially British) savoury

[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.
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
Can be confused
savior, savor, savory.
1, 2. See palatable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for savoury
Historical Examples
  • While we had sardines our bombardier produced a savoury with toast, but that is long ago.

    The Secrets of a Kuttite Edward O. Mousley
  • The shop was nice and warm and full of the savoury smell of fresh baking.

    The Carpenter's Daughter Anna Bartlett Warner
  • For some time it dragged on without a single wolf appearing, though the odour came strong and savoury through cords and straw.

  • When she did this it was an epicurean thing, savoury, hot, satisfying.

    Gigolo Edna Ferber
  • As they drank the wine, urged on by the savoury relish, he gave few and brief directions.

    Bakemono Yashiki (The Haunted House) James S. De Benneville
  • Not a few of us fail because we forget to make what we say savoury.

    Broken Bread Thomas Champness
  • It is a testament of light-hearted youth, savoury with the unindentured joys of twenty-one and the grand literary passion.

    Shandygaff Christopher Morley
  • One of the oldest and most savoury of the regular forecastle dishes.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • The Portuguese had need have the stomachs of ostriches to digest the loads of savoury viands with which they cram themselves.

  • The air was hot, and heavy with the fumes of Greek wines and savoury dishes.

    Stradella F(rancis) Marion Crawford
British Dictionary definitions for savoury


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


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
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 savoury

chiefly British English spelling of savory; also see -or.



"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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