Definition of savoury in English:


(US savory)


  • 1(of food) belonging to the category that is salty or spicy rather than sweet.

    ‘fresh pineapple is useful in savoury as well as in sweet dishes’
    • ‘It is easy to identify sweets as culprits, but what about the hidden danger of sugar in savoury foods and foods thought to be healthy, such as breakfast cereals, fruit juices, salad dressings, and yoghurts?’
    • ‘Pears are one of the few fruits that lend themselves equally happily to sweet and savoury dishes.’
    • ‘Maple syrup is no longer relegated to its standard role of sweetening pancakes and waffles; this versatile ingredient adds flavor to both sweet and savory dishes alike.’
    • ‘Nutmeg is as popular a spice for savoury dishes as sweet, lending a mellow flavour to rice puddings, sausages and mash, baked custards and fruit cake.’
    • ‘As a big fan of fruit as part of the main savoury dish of the meal I thoroughly enjoyed this.’
    • ‘To capture the essence, split the pods open lengthwise and scrape the seeds into sweet or savory dishes, then add the pods for good measure.’
    • ‘During the holidays, savoury foods are a welcome change from sweet items that are so much part of festive entertaining.’
    • ‘For a complete meal, serve this savory dish with brown rice, quinoa or whole-wheat couscous, and steamed green beans.’
    • ‘In medieval times it was a common practice to use a hollowed-out loaf as the container for a sweet or savory dish or as the primary thickening agent next to almonds.’
    • ‘Keep a light snack such as a savoury biscuit or cracker by your bed and eat before getting up in the morning or if you wake in the night, to help prevent sickness in the morning.’
    • ‘Toss fresh or dried berries into savory dishes such as salsas, salads, pilafs and couscous.’
    • ‘Tamarillo chutney recipes include a similar range of ingredients to those for savoury sauces, but don't need to be sieved.’
    • ‘Leanne imagined thin, crispy crust smothered in sweet yet savory tomato sauce, warm cheese, pepperoni, and succulent mushrooms.’
    • ‘Thanks to a tart shallot vinaigrette, bitterish field greens and red onion, the overall effect is savory rather than sweet.’
    • ‘In cooking it is often used as a garnish or decoration, both in sweet and in savoury dishes.’
    • ‘It was tasty enough, but I suspect the chef's talent lies with the savoury dishes.’
    • ‘In general, most of the salt we consume is not added during cooking or at the table, but comes from processed foods such as bread, cheese, savoury snacks, breakfast cereals and ready-meals.’
    • ‘A savory bread pudding with tomato marmalade and smoked trout ran as a special on the appetizer menu briefly, and was popular enough to return for a lengthier menu visit a few weeks later.’
    • ‘Many people, myself included, find bursts of sugar in savory food highly unpleasant.’
    • ‘Fruit or savoury foods seem to be better at preventing nausea than sweeter snacks.’
    salty, spicy, piquant, tangy
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    1. 1.1 Having an appetizing taste or smell.
      ‘she carried in a pie from the kitchen, steaming and savoury’
      • ‘Since then, I've longed to replicate the delicious, savory, and often quite filling meals that we ate together.’
      • ‘The wines were immediately recognisable by their elegant, restrained savoury characters.’
      • ‘Romanian cuisine is savory, flavorful, and stimulating to the appetite.’
      • ‘Steak, like the venison, is Scottish and very savoury.’
      • ‘The pate had pistachios in it and bacon wrapped around it and tasted rich and savory and utterly decadent.’
      • ‘The side dishes were, again, delicious and savory.’
      • ‘It was braised, succulent, savoury, fat-free, and served in its cooking liquid - which had been only slightly reduced.’
      • ‘Served in a small wooden bowl painted black on the exterior and red within, the soup was light and savoury.’
      • ‘The overwhelming feel here is of a big-boned, but savoury southern Rhone wine.’
      • ‘Spending an evening there is a wonderful way to explore a cuisine rich in spices, savory flavors and creative combinations of ingredients.’
  • 2usually with negative Morally wholesome or acceptable.

    ‘everyone knew it was a front for less savoury operations’
    • ‘The most savoury of the paintings (if I can use that word without coming across as prudish) are a series of nudes done from life in South Africa.’
    • ‘I don't, frankly, think the Royal Family did look on them as particularly pleasant or savory people.’
    • ‘But the task was becoming a less savory one, the world was annoying him at every turn.’
    acceptable, pleasant, palatable, wholesome, respectable, honourable, proper, seemly, creditable
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  • A savoury dish, especially a snack or appetizer.

    ‘refreshments include cakes and savouries’
    • ‘From a list of over 30 different items suggested by Penny, Irene chose some hot savouries, some cold savouries and some sweet desserts.’
    • ‘Around the corner at 27 rue des Rosiers is Boutique Jaune where you'll find all sorts of traditional Jewish, Russian and central European savouries.’
    • ‘Teas will be served during the afternoon and the organisers will welcome donations of food, cakes, and savouries.’
    • ‘If the food takes a little long to come, just have some savories and dips to ward off the hunger pangs in the guests, and relax and enjoy.’
    • ‘The calories contributed by most sweets and savouries are listed out and the manager of the stall tells you how many hours you have to exercise to burn them.’
    • ‘All of that I had done myself, and I still had to put approximately 200 savories into the oven to be heated, and cut up some cheese with crackers.’
    • ‘His father had a shop selling savouries at the local railway station.’
    • ‘The sections cover sambar and rasam, vegetables, rice, tiffin, savouries, sweets, salads, pachadis, chutneys and pickles, comprising 100 recipes with interesting variations.’
    • ‘Doors open at 8 p.m. and wine and savouries will be served.’
    • ‘Their glass display counters are full of neatly arranged, creamy-looking biscuits, cakes, homemade sweets, delicious savouries and brightly coloured sweetmeats.’
    • ‘The spread was outrageous, she said, from homemade cannolis to cake and back again, not to mention the savories.’
    • ‘Now there's a wide-ranging choice of tasty burgers and crispy savouries, to say nothing of novelties like French fries, ice cream, milk shakes and sundaes.’
    • ‘And to ensure uniformity in preparation, the restaurant used about 160 different pre-mixed spices in the elaborate preparation of the savouries.’
    • ‘I laid out the lasagna, savories, rice dish, baked potatoes, the cake, a selection of drinks and some fruit salad and managed to be on my way back to the kitchen when I heard the first people heading towards the dinner area.’
    • ‘It is a hot, sweet and sour delight that you can make time and again for use with fish and chicken dishes, or as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, poppadoms and savouries.’
    • ‘Warnings about consuming too much sugar get pushed to the back of the mind during festival time, when everyone is cooking and distributing delicious sweetmeats and savouries.’
    • ‘Guests grazed on savories such as chicken pot stickers, avocado egg rolls, quesadillas and chicken Marsala with mushrooms.’
    • ‘The second day begins with a visit to Natalie's recently opened gourmet food store, with the atmosphere quickly turning from sampling savouries to discussing business.’
    canapé, hors d'oeuvre, appetizer, titbit
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Middle English (in the sense ‘pleasing to the sense of taste or smell’): from Old French savoure ‘tasty, fragrant’, based on Latin sapor ‘taste’.