Definition of unsavoury in English:

unsavoury

(US unsavory)

adjective

  • 1Disagreeable to taste, smell, or look at:

    ‘they looked at the scanty, unsavoury portions of food doled out to them’
    • ‘Then the damning evidence piled up and his journey from superstar to common cheat proved as swift as it was unsavoury.’
    • ‘In the early hours of each morning you had to tread with caution, because spillage was common and the air was often filled with a rather unsavoury perfume.’
    • ‘Some were caked with layer upon layer of old food, others burbled ominously with fresh unsavory indelicacies.’
    • ‘People are always trying to rid their body and house of the unsavory smells of meat.’
    • ‘Bright fluorescent lighting, self service, general uncleanliness and unsavoury smells are all part of the attraction and charm.’
    • ‘After a while they could smell something really awful and soon had a lot of unsavory brown slop swishing around their feet, as the bag had ripped apart and the waste material had melted from the heat.’
    • ‘The man adores me for goodness sake… how can I taint the way he feels about me by making such unsavoury noises and smells in his company?’
    • ‘So to the traditional medical approaches of bleeding sick patients nearly to death to rid them of undesirable ‘humours’ Willis added unsavoury concoctions of semi-toxic metal salts.’
    • ‘We were planting some seeds together in her small backyard when she turned to me in confusion and asked if we could actually eat these food plants if they touched unsavory dirt.’
    unpalatable, unappetizing, unpleasant, distasteful, disagreeable, uninviting, unappealing, unattractive
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Disagreeable and unpleasant because morally disreputable:
      ‘an unsavoury reputation’
      • ‘An unsavory regime, probably, a threat to conquer major portions of the globe, not likely.’
      • ‘Yesterday's verdict - delivered far quicker than prosecution team members anticipated - brought to an end the unsavoury saga of the Fuddruckers nightclub stabbing.’
      • ‘Annie is living in an orphanage run by Miss Hannigan, a mean-spirited unsavoury character.’
      • ‘The unsavoury reputation of the place as a drug-peddling hub could be one reason.’
      • ‘The eye-catching poster, memorable title and unsavoury reputation of this nasty little flick have kept it alive in the minds of movie goers for decades.’
      • ‘Heads turned as I sped headlong towards the front doors, and I attempted not to make eye contact with any of the unsavoury characters who haunted the shopping centre.’
      • ‘The church's only stipulations were that the original unsavoury title, Graverobbers From Outer Space, be changed, and that the entire cast and crew be baptized in a Hollywood swimming pool.’
      • ‘Apart from the slightness of the story, however, the real disappointment is that the movie teaches a vaguely unsavoury lesson: you can't give up a fine catch just for love - it needs to be for money and love.’
      • ‘A more unsavoury set of characters and stories is hard to imagine. That noise you hear is the sound of millions of TV sets being turned off every time it comes on while the kids are in the room.’
      • ‘But there is something unsettling about the menacing threats which have accompanied the protests, a taste of which was unveiled in the unsavoury scenes outside Parliament.’
      • ‘I find that I can't say much about this to Gill, beyond agreeing that our increasingly unsavoury reputation is one that our politicians and parts of our culture undoubtedly deserve.’
      • ‘Some of his commissions have some pretty unsavoury characters with shady pasts.’
      • ‘It was an unsavoury situation for us and I am very disappointed in it.’
      • ‘Another shop in our village has been the easy target for a robbery by some unsavoury characters.’
      • ‘The whole thing is a little bit unsavoury but is the least-worst outcome.’
      • ‘And in Shanghai, prostitution, apart from its well-known unsavoury social effects, has also resulted in a rapid increase of AIDS in the past 15 years.’
      • ‘‘Some of the people visiting the house are very unsavoury characters,’ she said, speaking in 2003 when the Evening Press first exposed the brothel.’
      • ‘The Queens Street car park, near to Tavistock Street, has a bit of an unsavoury reputation locally and many owners are reluctant to park there.’
      • ‘As it plays out in the context of the film, this metaphorical scenario leads Alex into troublesome emotional territory with friends, colleagues and more unsavoury characters.’
      • ‘These books keep a moral background while revealing the more unsavoury side of certain characters.’
      disreputable, unpleasant, disagreeable, nasty, mean, rough, seedy, sleazy, seamy, unwholesome, objectionable, offensive, obnoxious, repellent, repulsive, immoral
      View synonyms

Pronunciation:

unsavoury

/ʌnˈseɪv(ə)ri/