To smell a rat
Smell Smell (sm[e^]l), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Smelled}, {Smelt}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Smelling}.] [OE. smellen, smillen, smullen; cf. LG. smellen, smelen, sm["o]len, schmelen, to smoke, to reek, D. smeulen to smolder, and E. smolder. Cf. {Smell}, n.] 1. To perceive by the olfactory nerves, or organs of smell; to have a sensation of, excited through the nasal organs when affected by the appropriate materials or qualities; to obtain the scent of; as, to smell a rose; to smell perfumes. [1913 Webster]

2. To detect or perceive, as if by the sense of smell; to scent out; -- often with out. ``I smell a device.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Can you smell him out by that? --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. To give heed to. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

From that time forward I began to smellthe Word of God, and forsook the school doctors. --Latimer. [1913 Webster]

{To smell a rat}, to have a sense of something wrong, not clearly evident; to have reason for suspicion. [Colloq.]

{To smell out}, to find out by sagacity. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To smell a rat — Rat Rat (r[a^]t), n. [AS. r[ae]t; akin to D. rat, OHG. rato, ratta, G. ratte, ratze, OLG. ratta, LG. & Dan. rotte, Sw. r[*a]tta, F. rat, Ir. & Gael radan, Armor. raz, of unknown origin. Cf. {Raccoon}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) One of several species of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • smell a rat — {v. phr.}, {informal} To be suspicious; feel that something is wrong. * /Every time Tom visits me, one of my ashtrays disappears. I m beginning to smell a rat./ * /When the policeman saw a light go on in the store at midnight, he smelled a rat./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • smell a rat — {v. phr.}, {informal} To be suspicious; feel that something is wrong. * /Every time Tom visits me, one of my ashtrays disappears. I m beginning to smell a rat./ * /When the policeman saw a light go on in the store at midnight, he smelled a rat./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • smell\ a\ rat — v. phr. informal To be suspicious; feel that something is wrong. Every time Tom visits me, one of my ashtrays disappears. I m beginning to smell a rat. When the policeman saw a light go on in the store at midnight, he smelled a rat …   Словарь американских идиом

  • smell a rat — tv. to suspect that something is wrong. □ He smelled a rat the minute he came into the room. □ Keep everything normal. I don’t want her to smell a rat. She has never had a surprise party before …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

  • smell a rat — If you smell a rat, you know instinctively that something is wrong or that someone is lying to you …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • smell a rat — phrasal : to have a suspicion of something wrong * * * smell a rat To have a suspicion that something is afoot • • • Main Entry: ↑rat smell a rat see under ↑rat1 • • • Main Entry: ↑smell * * * smell a rat …   Useful english dictionary

  • smell a rat —    If you smell a rat, you know instinctively that something is wrong or that someone is lying to you.   (Dorking School Dictionary)    ***    To say I smell a rat means that you suspect that something is wrong, or that someone is doing something …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • smell a rat — verb To sense something suspicious. Oh, are you thereabouts, sir? then I smell a rat, i’faith; but Ill say nothing …   Wiktionary

  • Smell a rat —   If you smell a rat, you know instinctively that something is wrong or that someone is lying to you …   Dictionary of English idioms

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