smell

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 nerves; detect the scent or odor of
2. to sense the presence or existence of [to smell trouble]
3. to test by the scent or odor; sniff [smell the milk to tell if it's sour]
vi.
1. to use the sense of smell; sniff: often with at or of
2.
a) to have or emit a scent or odor [flowers that do not smell]
b) to have or emit an unpleasant odor; stink
3. to have the odor or a suggestion (of) [breath that smells of garlic]
4. Informal
a) to lack ability, worth, etc.; be of poor quality
b) to be foul, corrupt, mean, etc.
n.
[ME smel]
1. that one of the five senses of the body by which a substance is perceived through the chemical stimulation of the olfactory nerves in the nasal cavity by particles given off by that substance
2. the characteristic stimulation of any specific substance upon the olfactory nerves; odor; scent
3. an act of smelling
4. that which suggests the presence or existence of something; trace; suggestion
——————
smell out
to look for or find by or as by smelling
——————
smell up
to fill with a bad odor; cause to stink
smeller
n.
SYN.- SMELL is the most general word for any quality perceived through the olfactory sense [foul and fresh smells]; SCENT refers to the emanation from the thing smelled, often implying that it can be discriminated only by a sensitive sense of smell [the scent of a hunted animal ]; ODOR suggests a heavier emanation and, therefore, one that is more generally perceptible and more clearly recognizable [chemical odors]; AROMA suggests a pervasive, pleasant, often spicy odor [the aroma of fine tobacco ]

English World dictionary. . 2014.

Synonyms:

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 — 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|y — «SMEHL ee», adjective, smell|i|er, smell|i|est. having or giving out a strong or unpleasant smell: »I wonder what makes the sea so smelly. I don t like it (Rudyard Kipling). SYNONYM( …   Useful english dictionary

  • 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

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