from The Century Dictionary.

  • To perceive or discern by the smell; smell: as, to scent game.
  • To perceive in any way; especially, to have a faint inkling or suspicion of.
  • To fill with smell, odor, or effluvium; cause to smell; make fragrant or stinking; perfume.
  • To be or become scented; have odor; be odoriferous; smell.
  • To hunt or pursue by scent.
  • noun An effluvium from any body capable of affecting the olfactory sense and being perceived as a smell; anything that can be smelled; odor; smell; fragrance or perfume.
  • noun A fragrant liquid distilled from flowers, etc., used to perfume the handkerchief and other articles of dress; a perfume.
  • noun The sense of smell; the faculty of olfaction; smell: as, a hound of nice scent.
  • noun The odoriferous trace of an animal's presence; the effluvium left by an animal in passing, by means of which it may be tracked or trailed by smell; hence, the track of such an animal; the course of its pursuit: as, to lose or recover the scent, as dogs: often used figuratively of any trace by which pursuit or inquiry of any kind can be guided.
  • noun Scraps of paper strewed on the ground by the pursued in the boys' game of hare and hounds, or by the “fox” in a paper-hunt, to enable the pursuers to track them or him.
  • noun Inkling; faint knowledge or suspicion.
  • noun Specilically, the supposed faculty of discerning odors in some way distinct from ordinary physical means.
  • noun = Syn.1. Odor, Fragrance, etc. See smell.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To have a smell.
  • intransitive verb To hunt animals by means of the sense of smell.
  • transitive verb To perceive by the olfactory organs; to smell.
  • transitive verb To imbue or fill with odor; to perfume.
  • noun That which, issuing from a body, affects the olfactory organs of animals; odor; smell.
  • noun Specifically, the odor left by an animal on the ground in passing over it; ; hence, course of pursuit; track of discovery.
  • noun The power of smelling; the sense of smell.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A distinctive odour or smell.
  • noun An odour left by an animal that may be used for tracing.
  • noun The sense of smell.
  • noun A perfume.
  • noun figuratively Any trail or trace that can be followed to find something or someone.
  • verb to detect the scent of
  • verb to impart an odour to

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

  • verb cause to smell or be smelly
  • verb catch the scent of; get wind of
  • noun a distinctive odor that is pleasant
  • noun any property detected by the olfactory system
  • verb apply perfume to
  • noun an odor left in passing by which a person or animal can be traced


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From c.1400 Old French sentir "to feel, perceive, smell," from Latin sentire "to feel, perceive, sense"; originally a hunting term. The -c- appeared 17c., possibly by influence of ascent, descent, etc., or by influence of science.


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  • in its quaintest form, "perfume", as in the opprobrium, "That fellow smells of scent!"

    June 4, 2009

  • See fragrance.

    December 19, 2010

  • Suddenly I caught Jake's scent. My legs nearly buckled. From "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan.

    March 28, 2012