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

  • n. A distinctive, often agreeable odor. See Synonyms at fragrance, smell.
  • n. A perfume: an expensive French scent.
  • n. An odor left by the passing of an animal.
  • n. The trail of a hunted animal or fugitive.
  • n. The sense of smell: a bear's keen scent.
  • n. A hint of something imminent; a suggestion: caught the scent of a reconciliation.
  • transitive v. To perceive or identify by the sense of smell: dogs scenting their prey.
  • transitive v. To suspect or detect as if by smelling: scented danger.
  • transitive v. To fill with a pleasant odor; perfume: when blossoms scent the air.
  • intransitive v. To hunt prey by means of the sense of smell. Used of hounds.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A distinctive odour or smell.
  • n. An odour left by an animal that may be used for tracing.
  • n. The sense of smell.
  • n. A perfume.
  • n. Any trail or trace that can be followed to find something or someone.
  • v. to detect the scent of
  • v. to impart an odour to

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which, issuing from a body, affects the olfactory organs of animals; odor; smell.
  • n. Specifically, the odor left by an animal on the ground in passing over it; ; hence, course of pursuit; track of discovery.
  • n. The power of smelling; the sense of smell.
  • intransitive v. To have a smell.
  • intransitive v. To hunt animals by means of the sense of smell.
  • transitive v. To perceive by the olfactory organs; to smell.
  • transitive v. To imbue or fill with odor; to perfume.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To perceive or discern by the smell; smell: as, to scent game.
  • To perceive in any way; especially, to have a faint inkling or suspicion of.
  • To fill with smell, odor, or effluvium; cause to smell; make fragrant or stinking; perfume.
  • To be or become scented; have odor; be odoriferous; smell.
  • To hunt or pursue by scent.
  • n. An effluvium from any body capable of affecting the olfactory sense and being perceived as a smell; anything that can be smelled; odor; smell; fragrance or perfume.
  • n. A fragrant liquid distilled from flowers, etc., used to perfume the handkerchief and other articles of dress; a perfume.
  • n. The sense of smell; the faculty of olfaction; smell: as, a hound of nice scent.
  • n. The odoriferous trace of an animal's presence; the effluvium left by an animal in passing, by means of which it may be tracked or trailed by smell; hence, the track of such an animal; the course of its pursuit: as, to lose or recover the scent, as dogs: often used figuratively of any trace by which pursuit or inquiry of any kind can be guided.
  • n.
  • n. Scraps of paper strewed on the ground by the pursued in the boys' game of hare and hounds, or by the “fox” in a paper-hunt, to enable the pursuers to track them or him.
  • n. Inkling; faint knowledge or suspicion.
  • n. Specilically, the supposed faculty of discerning odors in some way distinct from ordinary physical means.
  • n. = Syn.1. Odor, Fragrance, etc. See smell.

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

  • v. cause to smell or be smelly
  • v. catch the scent of; get wind of
  • n. a distinctive odor that is pleasant
  • n. any property detected by the olfactory system
  • v. apply perfume to
  • n. an odor left in passing by which a person or animal can be traced


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

Middle English sent, from senten, to scent, from Old French sentir, from Latin sentīre, to feel; see sent- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From c.1400 Old French sentir "to feel, perceive, smell," from Latin sentire "to feel, perceive, sense"; originally a hunting term. The -c- appeared 17c., possibly by influence of ascent, descent, etc., or by influence of science.



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  • Suddenly I caught Jake's scent. My legs nearly buckled. From "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan.

    March 28, 2012

  • See fragrance.

    December 19, 2010

  • in its quaintest form, "perfume", as in the opprobrium, "That fellow smells of scent!"

    June 4, 2009