Definition of savour in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈseɪvə/
(US savor)


1 [with object] Taste (good food or drink) and enjoy it to the full: gourmets will want to savour our game specialities
More example sentences
  • Both routes of feeding were physically unnatural and all I wanted was that exhilarating feeling of smelling, tasting and savouring food in my mouth again.
  • She ate it slowly, savoring each morsel of food that went in her mouth.
  • Do not gulp down your food; savor each mouthful and chew well before you swallow.
1.1Enjoy or appreciate (something pleasant) to the full, especially by lingering over it: I wanted to savour every moment
More example sentences
  • Yet still we lingered, savoring the last moments of the magical afternoon.
  • You try to live life to the fullest, savouring every moment, for you never know what the morrow may bring - or if there will be a morrow for you.
  • Sloan breathed deep, enjoying and savoring the moment.
relish, enjoy, enjoy to the full, taste to the full, appreciate, delight in, take pleasure in, revel in, smack one's lips over, luxuriate in, bask in, drool over
informal smack one's chops over
2 [no object] (savour of) Have a suggestion or trace of (a quality or attribute, typically one considered bad): their genuflections savoured of superstition and popery
More example sentences
  • The promise of endless variety savours of sameness, and we blame ourselves for being spoilt or ignorant, unimaginative, ungrateful and unfulfilled.
  • That would savour of something like treachery, a kind of anti-supporting of your own team.
  • Too much liberty of this kind savours of a luxuriant ungovernable fancy and borders on enthusiasm.
suggest, smack of, have the hallmarks of, have all the signs of, give the impression of, seem like, have the air of, have a suggestion of, be indicative of, hint at, have overtones of


[mass noun]
1A characteristic taste, flavour, or smell, especially a pleasant one: the subtle savour of wood smoke
More example sentences
  • What's needed is a flesh whose savour runs deep because its fats are dispersed, in fine grains, throughout the meat.
  • Their salted and smoked meat was useful to give savour to otherwise stodgy dishes, and was especially important for the poor.
  • The notes of nut and marmalade add great savour to rashers and crispy black pudding.
archaic relish
rare sapidity
piquancy, interest, attraction, fascination, flavour, spice, zest, excitement, enjoyment, joy
informal zing
1.1A suggestion or trace, typically of something bad.
Example sentences
  • It has the savor of disease about it and you immediately wonder what sort of agenda lies behind it.
  • His casualness irritated Adriana; it had the savor of a deliberate affront.
  • The air had a metallic savour and my throat suddenly went dry.
trace, hint, suggestion, touch, smack



Pronunciation: /ˈseɪvələs/
Example sentences
  • Women would find a world without men flat and savourless; it is men who dream of a world without women.
  • Her eyes trailed back down to her now savorless cup of coffee.
  • Arun shook his head and forced more of his savorless meal into his mouth.


Middle English: from Old French, from Latin sapor, from sapere 'to taste'.

  • flavour from Late Middle English:

    Originally flavour was associated with smell rather than taste, and meant ‘fragrance’. Linked in English with savour (Middle English) which comes from Latin sapere ‘to taste’, it comes from an Old French word which might be a combination of Latin flatus ‘blowing’ and foetor ‘unpleasant smell’. The current meaning of ‘a distinctive taste’ dates from the 17th century. In the 1930s American ice-cream parlours ran campaigns to promote a particular flavour of the month, giving us the phrase we use today to mean ‘something that is currently very popular.’

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sa¦vour

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.