Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An offensive smell; a stench.
  • noun A poisonous or foul-smelling gas emitted from the earth.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A pestilential exhalation, especially from the earth; any noxious or ill-smelling emanation, as from putrid or filthy substances; a noisome or poisonous stench.
  • noun [capitalized] [NL.] A genus of skunks, typical of the subfamily Mephitinæ.

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

  • noun Noxious, pestilential, or foul exhalations from decomposing substances, filth, or other source.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A genus of mammals, including the skunks.

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

  • noun A poisonous or foul smelling gas emitted from the earth
  • noun A distinctive odour that is very unpleasant.

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

  • noun a distinctive odor that is offensively unpleasant
  • noun a poisonous or foul smelling gas emitted from the earth
  • noun in some classifications: type genus of the subfamily Mephitinae

Etymologies

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

[Latin mefītis, mephītis.]

Examples

Comments

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  • "This, added to the mephitis still tainting the atmosphere, caused a number of other gentlemen to vomit, as well, and William felt his own gorge rise, but controlled it by vicious nose-pinching."

    —Diana Gabaldon, An Echo in the Bone (New York: Delacorte Press, 2009), 211

    December 17, 2009