American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To perceive the scent of (something) by means of the olfactory nerves.
- v. To sense the presence of by or as if by the olfactory nerves; detect or discover: We smelled trouble ahead. The committee tried to smell out corruption in law enforcement.
- v. To use the sense of smell; perceive the scent of something.
- v. To have or emit an odor: "The breeze smelled exactly like Vouvray—flowery, with a hint of mothballs underneath” ( Anne Tyler).
- v. To be suggestive; have a touch of something: a cave that smells of terror.
- v. To have or emit an unpleasant odor; stink: This closet smells.
- v. To appear to be dishonest; suggest evil or corruption.
- n. The sense by which odors are perceived; the olfactory sense.
- n. That quality of something that may be perceived by the olfactory sense.
- n. The act or an instance of smelling.
- n. A distinctive enveloping or characterizing quality; an aura or trace: the smell of success.
- idiom. smell a rat Slang To suspect that something is wrong.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To perceive through the nose, by means of the olfactory nerves; perceive the scent of; scent; nose.
- To perceive as if by smell; perceive in any way; especially, to detect by peculiar sagacity or a sort of instinct; smell out.
- To inhale the smell or odor of; test by the sense of smell: oftener intransitive, with of or at.
- To give out an odor; affect the olfactory sense: as, the rose smells sweet.
- Specifically, to give out an offensive odor: as, how the place smells!
- To have an odor (of a specified kind); be scented with: with of: as, to smell of roses.
- Figuratively, to appear to be of a certain nature or character, as indicated by the smell: generally followed by like or of.
- To inhale a smell or odor as a gratification or as a test of kind or quality, etc.: colloquially with of, formerly sometimes with to or unto.
- To snuff; try to smell something; figuratively, to try to smell out something: generally with about: as, to go smelling about.
- n. The faculty of perceiving by the nose; senseperception through the olfactory nerves; the olfactory faculty or function; the physiological process or function whereby certain odoriferous qualities of bodies, as scent or effluvium, are perceived and recognized through sensation; olfaction; scent; often with the definite article, as one of the special senses: as, the smell in dogs is keen. The essential organ of smell is located in a special part or lobe of the brain, the rhinencephalon, or olfactory lobe, whence are given off more or fewer olfactory nerves, which pass out of the cranial cavity into the nasal organ, or nose, in the mucous or Schneiderian membrane of the interior of which they ramify, so that air laden with odoriferous particles can affect the nerves when it is drawn into or through the nasal passages. In man the sense of smell is very feeble and imperfect in comparison with that of many animals, especially of the carnivores, which pursue their prey by scent, and ruminants, which escape their enemies by the same means. Smell in the lower animals seems to be the guiding sense in determining their choice of food.
- n. That quality of anything which is or may be smelled; an odoriferous effluvium; an odor or scent, whether agreeable or offensive; a fragrance, perfume, or stench; aroma: as, the smell of thyme; the smell of bilge-water.
- n. A faint impression; a subtle suggestion; a hint; a trace: as, the poem has a smell of the woods.
- n. An act of smelling: as, he took a smell at the bottle. Synonyms Smell, Scent, Odor, Savor Perfume, Fragrance, Aroma, Stench, Stink, Smell and scent express the physical sense, the exercise of the sense, and the thing which appeals to the sense. The others have only the last of these three meanings. Of the nine words the first four may express that which is pleasant or unpleasant, the next three only that which is pleasant, the last two only that which is very unpleasant. Smell is the general word; the others are species under it. Scent is the smell that proceeds naturally from something that has life: as, the scent of game; the scent of the tea-rose. Odor is little more than a Latin substitute for smell; as, the odor of musk, of decaying vegetation; it may be a dainty word, as smell cannot be. Savor is a distinctive smell, suggesting taste or flavor, proceeding especially from some article of food: as, the savor of garlic. Perfume is generally a strong or rich but agreeable smell. Fragrance is best used to express fresh, delicate, and delicious odors especially such as emanate from living things: as, the fragrance of the violet, of new-mown hay, of the breath of an infant. Aroma should be restricted to a somewhat spicy smell; as, the aroma of roasted coffee, or of the musk-rose. Stench and stink are historically the same word, in different degrees of strength, representing a strong, penetrating, and disgusting odor; stink is not for polite use.
- n. A sensation, pleasant or unpleasant, detected by inhaling air (or, the case of water-breathing animals, water) carrying airborne molecules of a substance.
- n. physiology The sense that detects odours.
- v. transitive To sense a smell or smells.
- v. intransitive To have a particular smell, whether good or bad; if descriptive, followed by "like" or "of".
- v. intransitive smell bad, stink
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To perceive by the olfactory nerves, or organs of smell; to have a sensation of, excited through the nasal organs when affected by the appropriate materials or qualities; to obtain the scent of.
- v. To detect or perceive, as if by the sense of smell; to scent out; -- often with
- v. obsolete To give heed to.
- v. To affect the olfactory nerves; to have an odor or scent; -- often followed by
- v. To have a particular tincture or smack of any quality; to savor.
- v. To exercise the sense of smell.
- v. To exercise sagacity.
- n. (Physiol.) The sense or faculty by which certain qualities of bodies are perceived through the instrumentally of the olfactory nerves. See sense.
- n. The quality of any thing or substance, or emanation therefrom, which affects the olfactory organs; odor; scent; fragrance; perfume.
- n. the general atmosphere of a place or situation and the effect that it has on people
- n. the sensation that results when olfactory receptors in the nose are stimulated by particular chemicals in gaseous form
- n. the act of perceiving the odor of something
- n. the faculty that enables us to distinguish scents
- v. have an element suggestive (of something)
- v. inhale the odor of; perceive by the olfactory sense
- v. smell bad
- v. become aware of not through the senses but instinctively
- n. any property detected by the olfactory system
- v. emit an odor
- From Middle English smellen, smillen, smyllen, smullen, from Old English *smyllan, *smiellan (“to smell, emit fumes”), from Proto-Germanic *smuljanan, *smaljanan (“to glow, burn, smoulder”), from Proto-Indo-European *smelə- (“to burn, smoke, smoulder; tar, pitch”). The noun is from Middle English smel, smil, smul ("smell, odour"). Related to Middle Dutch smōlen ("to burn, smoulder") (whence Dutch smeulen ("to smoulder")), Middle Low German smölen ("to be hazy, be dusty") (whence German Low German smölen ("smoulder")), West Flemish smoel ("stuffy, muggy, hazy"), Danish smul ("dust, powder"), Lithuanian smilkyti ("to incense, fumigate"), Lithuanian smilkti ("to smudge, smolder, fume, reek"), Lithuanian smalkinti ("to fume"), Middle Irish smál, smól, smúal ("fire, gleed, embers, ashes"), Russian смола (smola, "resin, tar"). Compare smoulder, smother. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English smellen. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Tom- Just went back and read your review of Oud 27 and have put it in my list of 'to smell'..though right now Arabian Oud's King Fahed is what I am dying to smell!”
“* We swap pjs, his are still warm and smell like cigarette smoke mixed with fresh masculine smell*”
“Among senses, smell was the strongest: smell of hot pine-woods and sweet-fern in the scorching summer noon; of new-mown hay; of ploughed earth; of box hedges; of peaches, lilacs, syringes; of stables, barns, cow-yards; of salt water and low tide on the marshes; nothing came amiss.”
“Your writing might be kinda sweet, delicately nuanced, quite lovely to many, but if it's based on hers all she's gonna smell is the stuff you've done to it that's just plain wrong, far as she's concerned.”
“I can smell a smoker for hundreds of yards and know exactly what the smell is as it hits my nose, I'm sure an old buck does the same.”
“Too much riffraff in this mall, the riff raff needs to take showers, baths, the smell is awful.”
“The Cat Genie doesn't always get all the solid waste and when it doesn't, the smell is a little annoying when you clean again.”
“Honestly, the smell is almost intolerable to me - it's very citrusy, but incredibly so, with only 3 flowers (another 12 flower buds are on their way), and the thing wafts at you from a good 6 feet away, plus.”
“Friends of the family say George a seven year old boy who lived at the apartment complex saved his family after exploring what he called the smell of something funny.”
“Thats what we call the smell of freshly fired M-4's … .i dont know why we call it that, but we do.”
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