Definitions

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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or contributing to the sense of smell.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Concerning the sense of smell.
  • n. An olfactory organ.
  • n. The sense of smell.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or connected with, the sense of smell
  • n. An olfactory organ; also, the sense of smell; -- usually in the plural.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Making or causing to smell; effecting or otherwise pertaining to olfaction; having the sense of smell or providing for the exercise of that faculty: as, an olfactory organ.
  • n. The organ of smell; the nose as an olfactory organ: usually in the plural.

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

  • adj. of or relating to olfaction

Etymologies

Latin olfactōrius, used to sniff at, from olfactus, past participle of olfacere, to smell : olēre, to smell + facere, to do; see fact.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin olfactorius, from olfactus, present participle of olfaciō ("I sniff"), from oleō + faciō. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Some interesting things about our sense of smell: According to wikipedia, it is our accessory olfactory system (as opposed to the main olfactory system) that smells the fluid-phase chemicals.

    Homage to Olfaction « California Life: Better Than Happy Hour

  • In the first study to examine living nerve cells from patients with psychiatric disease, scientists from the Monell Chemical Senses Center, the University of Pennsylvania, and collaborating institutions report altered nerve cell function in olfactory receptor neurons from patients with bipolar disorder.

    Another Day in the Ketchup Mine

  • Similar to a visuospatial sketchpad where the brain briefly stores images, this function can be likened to an olfactory flacon (the French word for flask, often used to describe a vessel for perfume), where the brain briefly stores odors.

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  • a gene encoding a transneuronal tracer in olfactory sensory neurons.

    Linda B. Buck - Autobiography

  • Probably carcinogenic, but the olfactory was the sense most closely linked to memory, so it was worth it for the nostalgia hit.

    It's October, 1956.

  • In the mammalian nose, smelling takes place in tissue called the olfactory epithelium.

    E-noses

  • It does seem to have, it's so rare, that it's hard to say that there's a characteristic pattern, where, you know, some people may actually sort of get it into their nose and subsequently sort of travels along a nerve called the olfactory nerve, all the way back into their brain.

    CNN Transcript Oct 5, 2007

  • For a long time, it has been known that the olfactory receptor cells are located far up in the nose, and that they send their thin neural processes through small canals in the bone directly to the part of the brain called the olfactory bulb.

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2004 - Presentation Speech

  • These cells, called olfactory receptor neurons, are located just inside the nose, and are similar in many ways to cells within the brain, but are easier and safer to get to.

    Mind Hacks: Studying the nose to understand bipolar disorder

  • Probably car cinogenic, but the olfactory was the sense most closely linked to memory, so it was worth it for the nostalgia hit.

    Boiling a Frog

Comments

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  • Others having broken the stems of their pipes almost short off at the bowl, were vigorously puffing tobacco-smoke, so that it constantly filled their olfactories.

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 91

    July 29, 2008

  • Why do new factories smell better than old factories?

    February 15, 2007