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

  • n. An offensive odor; a stench. See Synonyms at stench.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An unpleasant smell.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A strong, offensive smell; stench; fetidness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Any strong offensive smell; stench.

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

  • n. a distinctive odor that is offensively unpleasant


Middle English fetoure, from Latin fētor, from fētēre, to stink.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • See also foetor.

    January 21, 2010

  • "I had picked out a distinct stench of sickness amid the general fetor. Not only the ghost of long-dried vomit, but the sweet smell of purulent discharge and that indefinable musty, yeast-rising odor that seems to be simply the smell of illness itself."
    —Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (NY: Bantam Dell, 2001), 419

    January 20, 2010

  • "...went down into the unbreathable fetor, watched nervously by the slaver's hands, who held their whips in an uncertain, awkward fashion..."
    --P. O'Brian, The Commodore, 190

    March 17, 2008