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unsavory

Call something unsavory if it's unappetizing, tasteless, or morally offensive. Curdled sour milk is pretty unsavory, as are the dirty details of the latest political scandal.

The adjective unsavory was formed by merging un, meaning “not,” with savory, meaning “pleasant, agreeable.” So if it's unsavory, it's unpleasant. First used to describe revolting tastes, unsavory now also applies to just about anything that figuratively leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Mobsters do all kinds of unsavory things to the people that cross them. So you probably shouldn't hang out with such unsavory characters.

Definitions of unsavory
  1. adjective
    morally offensive
    “an unsavory reputation”
    “an unsavory scandal”
    synonyms: offensive, unsavoury
    odoriferous
    morally offensive
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    savory, savoury
    morally wholesome or acceptable
  2. adjective
    not pleasing in odor or taste
    synonyms: distasteful, unsavoury
    unpalatable
    not pleasant or acceptable to the taste or mind
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