Main definitions of savory in English

: savory1savory2



  • An aromatic plant of the mint family, used as a culinary herb.

    • ‘Certain herbs will also grow well in cooler temperatures including cilantro, winter thyme, winter savory & sage.’
    • ‘Sprinkle the dish with black pepper and garnish with winter savory.’
    • ‘A versatile culinary herb that belongs to the same plant family as thyme is winter savory.’
    • ‘Harvest culinary and medicinal herbs like lemon balm, mint, French tarragon, summer savory and basil before they go to seed.’
    • ‘Together with dill, sorrel and summer savory, parsley was one of the herbs grown in every garden.’

Main definitions of savory in English

: savory1savory2


(British savoury)


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

    • ‘As a big fan of fruit as part of the main savoury dish of the meal I thoroughly enjoyed this.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Pears are one of the few fruits that lend themselves equally happily to sweet and savoury dishes.’
    • ‘In cooking it is often used as a garnish or decoration, both in sweet and in savoury 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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was tasty enough, but I suspect the chef's talent lies with the savoury dishes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Fruit or savoury foods seem to be better at preventing nausea than sweeter snacks.’
    • ‘Many people, myself included, find bursts of sugar in savory food highly unpleasant.’
    • ‘During the holidays, savoury foods are a welcome change from sweet items that are so much part of festive entertaining.’
    • ‘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.’
    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 savory’
      • ‘The wines were immediately recognisable by their elegant, restrained savoury characters.’
      • ‘Spending an evening there is a wonderful way to explore a cuisine rich in spices, savory flavors and creative combinations of ingredients.’
      • ‘Romanian cuisine is savory, flavorful, and stimulating to the appetite.’
      • ‘The pate had pistachios in it and bacon wrapped around it and tasted rich and savory and utterly decadent.’
      • ‘Steak, like the venison, is Scottish and very savoury.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Since then, I've longed to replicate the delicious, savory, and often quite filling meals that we ate together.’
  • 2usually with negative Morally wholesome or acceptable.

    ‘everyone knew it was a front for less savory operations’
    • ‘But the task was becoming a less savory one, the world was annoying him at every turn.’
    • ‘I don't, frankly, think the Royal Family did look on them as particularly pleasant or savory people.’
    • ‘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.’
    acceptable, pleasant, palatable, wholesome, respectable, honourable, proper, seemly, creditable
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  • A savory dish, especially a snack or appetizer.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His father had a shop selling savouries at the local railway station.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Doors open at 8 p.m. and wine and savouries will be served.’
    • ‘Guests grazed on savories such as chicken pot stickers, avocado egg rolls, quesadillas and chicken Marsala with mushrooms.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 sections cover sambar and rasam, vegetables, rice, tiffin, savouries, sweets, salads, pachadis, chutneys and pickles, comprising 100 recipes with interesting variations.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The spread was outrageous, she said, from homemade cannolis to cake and back again, not to mention the savories.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Teas will be served during the afternoon and the organisers will welcome donations of food, 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.’
    • ‘And to ensure uniformity in preparation, the restaurant used about 160 different pre-mixed spices in the elaborate preparation of the savouries.’
    • ‘Their glass display counters are full of neatly arranged, creamy-looking biscuits, cakes, homemade sweets, delicious savouries and brightly coloured sweetmeats.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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: perhaps from Old English sætherie, or via Old French, from Latin satureia<br>Middle English (in the sense ‘pleasing to the sense of taste or smell’): from Old French savoure ‘tasty, fragrant’, based on Latin sapor ‘taste’.