AskDefine | Define smell

Dictionary Definition



1 the sensation that results when olfactory receptors in the nose are stimulated by particular chemicals in gaseous form; "she loved the smell of roses" [syn: odor, odour, olfactory sensation, olfactory perception]
2 any property detected by the olfactory system [syn: olfactory property, aroma, odor, odour, scent]
3 the general atmosphere of a place or situation and the effect that it has on people; "the feel of the city excited him"; "a clergyman improved the tone of the meeting"; "it had the smell of treason" [syn: spirit, tone, feel, feeling, flavor, flavour, look]
4 the faculty of smell [syn: sense of smell, olfaction, olfactory modality]
5 the act of perceiving the odor of something [syn: smelling]


1 inhale the odor of; perceive by the olfactory sense
2 emit an odor; "The soup smells good"
3 smell bad; "He rarely washes, and he smells" [also: smelt]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • , /smɛl/, /smEl/
  • Rhymes: -ɛl


  1. 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.
  2. The sense that detects smells.



  • Albanian: joshë
  • Czech: vůně
  • Dutch: geur , reuk , stank (unpleasant)
  • Finnish: haju
  • German: Geruch
  • Hebrew: ריח
  • Hungarian: szag, illat (pleasant), bűz (unpleasant)
  • Indonesian: bau, aroma
  • Italian: odore
  • Kazakh: кетшi (ketşi)
  • Kurdish: بۆن
  • Polish: zapach
  • Portuguese: cheiro
  • Romanian: miros
  • Russian: запах
  • Spanish: olor
  • Swedish: lukt
  • Telugu: వాసన (vaasana)


  1. To sense a smell or smells.
    I can smell fresh bread.
    Smell the milk and tell me whether it's gone off.
  2. In the context of "transitive|followed by like or of": To have the smell (of).
    His feet smell of cheese.
    The bum smelt like a brewery.
  3. To have a particular smell, whether good or bad.
    The roses smell lovely.
  • (sense a smell or smells): detect, sense
  • (have the smell of): (all followed by like or of)
sense a smell or smells
  • Arabic: (šámma)
  • Chinese: , (wén)
  • Czech: cítit
  • Dutch: ruiken
  • Finnish: haistaa
  • French: sentir
  • German: riechen
  • Hungarian: szagol, megszagol
  • Italian: sentire, fiutare
  • Japanese: 匂う (におう, niou)
  • Korean: 냄새를 맡다 (naemsaereul matda)
  • Kurdish:
  • Latin: adolēre
  • Lithuanian: uosti
  • Portuguese: cheirar
  • Romanian: mirosi
  • Russian: обонять (obonját’), чуять (čújat'), нюхать (n'úχat')
  • Spanish: oler
  • Swedish: lukta
have the smell of
have a particular smell

See also


Extensive Definition

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.
smell in Simple English: Smell
smell in Swedish: Lukt

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

apprehend, aroma, be aromatic, be aware of, be conscious of, be redolent of, be sensible of, be warm, bouquet, breath, breathe, breathe in, burn, cast, chromesthesia, color hearing, dash, definite odor, detect, detectable odor, effluvium, emanation, emit a smell, essence, exhalation, exhale, experience, feel, fetidness, fetor, five senses, flavor, follow, follow a clue, follow up, fragrance, fume, funk, get wind of, gleam, hear, hearing, hint, hum, hunt down, idea, incense, inhale, intimation, lick, look, mephitis, nose, nose out, odor, offend the nostrils, olfaction, olfactory sense, perceive, perfume, phonism, photism, receptor, redolence, reek, respond, respond to stimuli, run down, run to earth, savor, scent, scintilla, see, sense, sense of smell, sense organ, senses, sensillum, sensorium, sensory organ, shade, shadow, sight, sip, sixth sense, smack, smattering, smell bad, smell of, smell out, smell to heaven, smell up, smelling, snaffle, sniff, sniff out, snuff, snuffle, soupcon, spark, spice, spoor, sprinkling, stalk, stench, stink, stink out, stink up, strain, subtle odor, suggestion, sup, suspicion, synesthesia, tail, taste, thought, tincture, tinge, touch, trace, trace down, track, track down, trail, whiff, yield an odor
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1