Definitions

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

  • noun The distinctive scent which accompanies the first rain after a long warm dry spell.
  • noun The yellow organic oil that yields this scent.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From petr(o)- + ichor. The term was coined by two Australian researchers in 1964 for an article in the journal Nature.

Examples

  • The scientific name for the earthy smell after rain is petrichor from the Greek petra, stone + ichor, the liquid that flows in the veins of the Greek gods.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • The word "petrichor" refers to the scent of rain on dry earth, and it derives from the Greek name for what flows through the veins of gods.

    In Mark Morris Dance Group's anniversary tour, girlpower enchants with grace

  • The word "petrichor" means: "the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell."

    2 favourite words

  • "Heritage media," meaning media such as newspapers and TV thought to be losing sway in the face of changing communication, and "petrichor," which is released by eucalypts into rivers and encourages fish and invertebrates to breed, also won honorable mentions.

    canada.com Top Stories

  • "Heritage media," meaning media such as newspapers and TV thought to be losing sway in the face of changing communication, and "petrichor," which is released by eucalypts into rivers and encourages fish and invertebrates to breed, also won honorable mentions.

    Reuters: Top News

  • "Heritage media", meaning media such as newspapers and TV thought to be losing sway in the face of changing communication, and "petrichor", which is released by eucalypts into rivers and encourages fish and invertebrates to breed, also won honourable mentions.

    Moneycontrol Top Headlines

  • Over the past 13 years, Garg has shared thousands of words with fellow linguaphiles, including illeist (someone who refers to himself in the third person, a la Bo Jackson), and petrichor (the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell), and origin trivia like the fact that “shampoo” comes from the Hindi word “chumpee,” meaning “head massage.”

    A Word From the Wordsmith - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com

  • Over the past 13 years, Garg has shared thousands of words with fellow linguaphiles, including illeist (someone who refers to himself in the third person, a la Bo Jackson), and petrichor (the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell), and origin trivia like the fact that “shampoo” comes from the Hindi word “chumpee,” meaning “head massage.”

    A Word From the Wordsmith - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com

  • And as they drove out of the desert, it began to rain, and the petrichor improved Bob's mood, making him confident that all would be right in the world.

    The Happy List: Words, + Brooklyn Arden Contest!

  • Bob kvetched yet again, my pants smell of petrichor, yet my funk punk booty has some major mojo.

    The Happy List: Words, + Brooklyn Arden Contest!

Comments

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  • the scent of rain on dry earth. thanks girlkate for this word!!

    December 1, 2006

  • It seems ironic that we venerate petrichor, that essence of the earth and the rain, on the most unnatural of media (or is it?), the internet.

    December 7, 2006

  • The common rain smell is a gas called petrichor. Volatiles evaporate from plants and are absorbed by rocks, concrete etc. When the rain hits the rock, the volatiles are released into the atmosphere and you smell it.

    April 3, 2008

  • Probably from the greek petros, rock; and ichor, the essence of the gods.

    August 14, 2008

  • The pleasant smell of rain falling on dry earth.

    June 24, 2009

  • the odor of the earth accompanying the first rain after a long period of warm dry weather

    August 8, 2009

  • I feel much cleaner after it rains.

    June 13, 2011

  • You need a new umbrella.

    June 13, 2011

  • Adam Scott Neal wrote a score titled "Petrichor". It is an auditory interpretation of an olfactory experience. Downloadable sheet music as well. http://adamscottneal.com/petrichor.htm

    June 23, 2011

  • I had no idea there was a word for this...awesome :-)

    November 26, 2011