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unsavory

[uhn-sey-vuh-ree] /ʌnˈseɪ və ri/
adjective
1.
not savory; tasteless or insipid:
an unsavory meal.
2.
unpleasant in taste or smell; distasteful.
3.
unappealing or disagreeable, as a pursuit:
Poor teachers can make education unsavory.
4.
socially or morally objectionable or offensive:
an unsavory past; an unsavory person.
Also, especially British, unsavoury.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English; see un-1, savory1
Related forms
unsavorily, adverb
unsavoriness, noun
Synonyms
1. flat, unappetizing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for unsavory
  • There are some deeply unsavory opinions in these diversity threads.
  • Healthy woolly bears also ingest alkaloids, but only in small amounts, apparently to make themselves unsavory to predators.
  • All are impressive locations for unsavory types to plot and scheme.
  • Words that are vulgar or offensive, or refer to unsavory topics.
  • But not everyone seems to experience the unsavory side effects.
  • It was also used to justify ruthless business practices and other unsavory acts.
  • Most of it takes place in a seedy, unsavory bistro thronged with wallowing strumpets, smugglers and sailors.
  • Even the future of the time-honored sport of hurtling rotten tomatoes at unsavory politicians hangs in the balance.
  • But many of these rebels, as news reports call them, have unsavory records.
  • Cutting deals with criminal informants may, at times, be a necessary if unsavory part of law enforcement.
British Dictionary definitions for unsavory

unsavoury

/ʌnˈseɪvərɪ/
adjective
1.
objectionable or distasteful: an unsavoury character
2.
disagreeable in odour or taste
Derived Forms
unsavourily, (US) unsavorily, adverb
unsavouriness, (US) unsavoriness, noun
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 unsavory
adj.

early 13c., "tasteless, insipid," from un- (1) "not" + savory (adj.). Meaning "unpleasant or disagreeable to the taste" is attested from late 14c.; of persons, from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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