Definitions

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

  • noun The sense of smell.
  • noun The act or process of smelling.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The sense of smell or faculty of smelling; an olfactory act or process; smell; scent.

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

  • noun (Physiol.) The sense by which the impressions made on the olfactory organs by the odorous particles in the atmosphere are perceived.

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

  • noun the sense of smell; the detection of airborne molecules

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

  • noun the faculty that enables us to distinguish scents

Etymologies

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

[Latin olfactus, past participle of olfacere, to smell; see olfactory + –ion.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin olfactus.

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "At the International Symposium on Olfaction and Taste held in San Francisco late last month, Dr. Herz and other researchers discussed the many ways our sense of smell stands alone. Olfaction is an ancient sense, the key by which our earliest forebears learned to approach or slink off. Yet the right aroma can evoke such vivid, whole body sensations that we feel life’s permanent newness, the grounding of now."

    The New York Times, The Nose, an Emotional Time Machine, by Natalie Angier, August 5, 2008

    August 5, 2008

  • Is it such an unusual word, that only 2 Wordies list it? (Three, now)

    June 20, 2009

  • i love this word its so unsal and unique i didnt know there was another word for smell!

    August 21, 2011

  • Very unsal.

    August 21, 2011