Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A substance that emits and diffuses a fragrant odor, especially a volatile liquid distilled from flowers or prepared synthetically.
  • n. A pleasing, agreeable scent or odor. See Synonyms at fragrance.
  • transitive v. To fill or permeate with fragrance; impart a pleasant odor to.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A pleasant smell; the scent, odor, or odoriferous particles emitted from a sweet-smelling substance; a pleasant odor; fragrance; aroma.
  • n. A substance created to provide a pleasant smell or one which emits an agreeable odor.
  • v. To apply perfume to; to fill or impregnate with a perfume; to scent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The scent, odor, or odoriferous particles emitted from a sweet-smelling substance; a pleasant odor; fragrance; aroma.
  • n. A substance that emits an agreeable odor.
  • transitive v. To fill or impregnate with a perfume; to scent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To scent; render odorous or fragrant: as, to perfume an apartment; to perfume a garment.
  • Literally, to impregnate with the fumes or smoke of some burning object; fumigate, as with a disinfectant.
  • n. A substance that emits a scent or odor which affects the organs of smell agreeably.
  • n. The scent, odor, or volatile particles emitted from odorous substances, especially those that are sweet-smelling.
  • n. Synonyms Fragrance, Aroma, etc. (see smell, n.), balminess, redolence, incense.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. fill or impregnate with an odor
  • v. apply perfume to
  • n. a distinctive odor that is pleasant
  • n. a toiletry that emits and diffuses a fragrant odor

Etymologies

French parfum, from Old Italian parfumo, from parfumare, to fill with smoke : par-, intensive pref. (from Latin per-, per-) + fumare, to smoke (from Latin fūmāre, from fūmus, smoke).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French parfum, from the obsolete Italian parfumare "to smoke through" (Wiktionary)

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