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1. Distasteful or disagreeable: an unsavory task.
2. Not savory: an unsavory meal.
3. Morally offensive: an unsavory scandal.

un·sa′vor·i·ly adv.
un·sa′vor·i·ness n.


(ʌnˈseɪ və ri)

1. not savory; tasteless or insipid: an unsavory meal.
2. unpleasant in taste or smell; distasteful.
3. unappealing or disagreeable, as a pursuit or task.
4. socially or morally objectionable or offensive: an unsavory past.
Also, esp. Brit.,un•sa′vour•y.
un•sa′vor•i•ly, adv.
un•sa′vor•i•ness, n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.unsavory - morally offensiveunsavory - morally offensive; "an unsavory reputation"; "an unsavory scandal"
savory, savoury - morally wholesome or acceptable; "a past that was scarcely savory"
2.unsavory - not pleasing in odor or tasteunsavory - not pleasing in odor or taste  
unpalatable - not pleasant or acceptable to the taste or mind; "an unpalatable meal"; "unpalatable truths"; "unpalatable behavior"


1. Lacking an appetizing flavor:
2. So unpleasant in flavor as to be inedible:
References in classic literature ?
It may well be conceived, what an unsavory odor such a mass must exhale; worse than an Assyrian city in the plague, when the living are incompetent to bury the departed.
Marking all this, Stubb argued well for his scheme, and turning to the Guernsey-man had a little chat with him, during which the stranger mate expressed his detestation of his Captain as a conceited ignoramus, who had brought them all into so unsavory and unprofitable a pickle.
Pursuing his course, he entered the labyrinth of streets which led, in that quarter of East London, to the unsavory neighborhood of the river-side.
Private excavations are taking place--if our readers will pardon us the unsavory allusion--at the dust-heap, of all places in the world
The austere stronghold, notwithstanding its repellent exterior and unsavory reputation, always extended a warm welcome to the kindly, genial priest; not alone because of the deep friendship which the master of Torn felt for the good father, but through the personal charm, and lovableness of the holy man's nature, which shone alike on saint and sinner.
Why did you enter this place of unsavory reputations?
Sabor proved unsavory eating even to Tarzan of the Apes, but hunger served as a most efficacious disguise to toughness and rank taste, and ere long, with well-filled stomach, the ape-man was ready to sleep again.
Again partaking of a few mouthfuls of the unsavory flesh of Ska, the vulture, the ape-man arose with something of his old force and set out with steady gait toward the hills of promise rising alluringly ahead.
For a long, hot, gaunt month he and his little troop had scoured the places of the desert waste in search of a band of marauders to the sin-stained account of which were charged innumerable thefts of camels, horses, and goats, as well as murders enough to have sent the whole unsavory gang to the guillotine several times over.
Summary: New Delhi [India], November 28 (ANI): Minister of State for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh on Tuesday said the more Congress leaders refer to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in unsavory terms, the more he becomes dear to people of India.
It was unsavory but the police have acted swiftly and put it in order.
An unsavory tattoo can lead to an unsavory underworld.