Smell meaning

smĕl
To smell is defined as to take in or give off a scent.

An example of to smell is to breathe in the scent of fresh flowers.

verb
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To inhale the air near (something); sniff.

Smiled as she smelled the rose.

verb
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To detect or discover, as by intuition or inference.

We smelled trouble ahead. The committee tried to smell out corruption in law enforcement.

verb
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To use the sense of smell.
verb
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To sniff.

The dog was smelling around the bed.

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To be or become aware of by means of the nose and the olfactory nerves; detect the scent or odor of.
verb
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To sense the presence or existence of.

To smell trouble.

verb
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To test by the scent or odor; sniff.

Smell the milk to tell if it's sour.

verb
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To use the sense of smell; sniff.
verb
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To have the odor or a suggestion (of)

Breath that smells of garlic.

verb
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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.
noun
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The characteristic stimulation of any specific substance upon the olfactory nerves; odor; scent.
noun
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An act of smelling.
noun
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That which suggests the presence or existence of something; trace; suggestion.
noun
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The sense, located in the nasal cavities of mammals and relying on the olfactory nerves, by which molecules borne in a fluid such as air can be perceived; the olfactory sense.
noun
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A similar sense in other animals, as insects' ability to perceive air-borne molecules with their antennae.
noun
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To perceive an odor by the sense of smell.
verb
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To perceive or detect something by a chemosensory organ, such as an antenna.
verb
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A sensation, pleasant or unpleasant, detected by inhaling air (or, the case of water-breathing animals, water) carrying airborne molecules of a substance.

I love the smell of fresh bread.

noun
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(physiology) The sense that detects odours.
noun
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To sense a smell or smells.

I can smell fresh bread.

Smell the milk and tell me whether it's gone off.

verb
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(intransitive) To have a particular smell, whether good or bad; if descriptive, followed by "like" or "of".

The roses smell lovely.

His feet smell of cheese.

The drunkard smelt like a brewery.

verb
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(intransitive, without a modifier) To smell bad; to stink.

You smell.

verb
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(intransitive, figuratively) To have a particular tincture or smack of any quality; to savour.

A report smells of calumny.

verb
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Smell is the sense by which people take in scents through their nose, or an odor or the act of sensing or giving off an odor.

An example of smell is how people sniff out what is cooking in the kitchen.

An example of a smell is the scent of homemade cookies.

noun
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The act or an instance of smelling.

Got a smell of the pie.

noun
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smell a rat
  • To suspect that something is wrong.
idiom
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smell blood
  • To sense an opportunity for advantage at someone else's expense.
idiom
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smell the roses
  • To spend time in leisurely enjoyment.
idiom
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smell out
  • To look for or find by or as by smelling.
idiom
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smell up
  • To cause to stink.
idiom
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Origin of smell

  • Middle English smel of unknown origin

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English smellen, smillen, smyllen, smullen, from Old English *smyllan, *smiellan (“to smell, emit fumes"), from Proto-Germanic *smuljanÄ…, *smaljanÄ… (“to glow, burn, smoulder"), from Proto-Indo-European *smelÉ™- (“to burn, smoke, smoulder; tar, pitch"). The noun is from Middle English smel, smil, smul (“smell, odour"). Related to Middle Dutch smōlen (“to burn, smoulder") (whence Dutch smeulen (“to smoulder")), Middle Low German smölen (“to be hazy, be dusty") (whence German Low German smölen (“smoulder")), West Flemish smoel (“stuffy, muggy, hazy"), Danish smul (“dust, powder"), Lithuanian smilkyti (“to incense, fumigate"), Lithuanian smilkti (“to smudge, smolder, fume, reek"), Lithuanian smalkinti (“to fume"), Middle Irish smál, smól, smúal (“fire, gleed, embers, ashes"), Russian смола (smola, “resin, tar"). Compare smoulder, smother.

    From Wiktionary