I. verb (smelled or smelt; smelling) Etymology: Middle English Date: 12th century transitive verb 1. to perceive the odor or scent of through stimuli affecting the olfactory nerves ; get the odor or scent of with the nose 2. to detect or become aware of as if by the sense of smell <
I smell trouble
3. to emit the odor of intransitive verb 1. to exercise the sense of smell 2. a. (1) to have an odor or scent (2) to have a characteristic aura or atmosphere ; smack <
the accounts…seemed to me to smell of truth — R. S. Bourne
; also seem, appear <
the story didn't smell right
b. (1) to have an offensive odor ; stink (2) to be of bad or questionable quality <
all this from the moral point of view smells — A. F. Wills
smeller noun II. noun Date: 12th century 1. the property of a thing that affects the olfactory organs ; odor 2. a. the process, function, or power of smelling b. the sense concerned with the perception of odor 3. a. a very small amount ; trace <
add only a smell of garlic
b. a pervading or characteristic quality ; aura <
the smell of affluence, of power — Harry Hervey
4. an act or instance of smelling Synonyms: smell, scent, odor, aroma mean the quality that makes a thing perceptible to the olfactory sense. smell implies solely the sensation without suggestion of quality or character <
an odd smell permeated the room
. scent applies to the characteristic smell given off by a substance, an animal, or a plant <
the scent of lilacs
. odor may imply a stronger or more readily distinguished scent or it may be equivalent to smell <
a cheese with a strong odor
. aroma suggests a somewhat penetrating usually pleasant odor <
the aroma of freshly ground coffee

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • smell — smell,[/p] scent, odor, aroma all denote a property of a thing that makes it perceptible to the olfactory sense. Smell not only is the most general of these terms but tends to be the most colorless. It is the appropriate word when merely the… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • smell — [smel] vt. smelled or [Chiefly Brit.] Brit. smelt, smelling [ME smellen < OE * smyllan < IE base * smel , to burn slowly > SMOLDER: basic sense “to give off smoke”] 1. to be or become aware of by means of the nose and the olfactory… …   English World dictionary

  • smell — smell; smell·able; smell·age; smell·er; smell·ful; smell·fun·gus; smell·ie; smell·i·ness; …   English syllables

  • Smell — Smell, n. [OE. smel, smil, smul, smeol. See {Smell}, v. t.] (Physiol.) 1. The sense or faculty by which certain qualities of bodies are perceived through the instrumentally of the olfactory nerves. See {Sense}. [1913 Webster] 2. The quality of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Smell — Smell, v. i. 1. To affect the olfactory nerves; to have an odor or scent; often followed by of; as, to smell of smoke, or of musk. [1913 Webster] 2. To have a particular tincture or smack of any quality; to savor; as, a report smells of calumny.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • smell — verb. The form for the past tense and past participle in BrE is smelled or smelt; in AmE smelled is usually preferred. When the verb is used intransitively, the quality of the smell is normally expressed either by a phrase introduced by of or by… …   Modern English usage

  • smell — (v.) late 12c., emit or perceive an odor, also (n.) odor, aroma, stench; not found in O.E., perhaps cognate with M.Du. smolen, Low Ger. smelen to smolder (see SMOLDER (Cf. smolder)). OED says no doubt of O.E. origin, but not recorded, and not… …   Etymology dictionary

  • smell — [n] odor aroma, bouquet, emanation, essence, flavor, fragrance, incense, perfume, redolence, savor, scent, spice, stench, stink, tang, trace, trail, whiff; concepts 590,599 smell [v1] perceive with the nose breathe, detect, discover, find, get a… …   New thesaurus

  • Smell — may refer to:* Olfaction, the sense of smell, the ability of humans and other animals to perceive odors * Odor * In programming, a code smell is a symptom in the source code of a program that something is wrong …   Wikipedia

  • smell — ► NOUN 1) the faculty of perceiving odours by means of the organs in the nose. 2) a quality that is perceived by this faculty; an odour. 3) an act of inhaling in order to perceive an odour. ► VERB (past and past part. smelt or smelled) 1)… …   English terms dictionary

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