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smell Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the sensation that results when olfactory receptors in the nose are stimulated by particular chemicals in gaseous form
    odour; odor; olfactory perception; olfactory sensation.
    • she loved the smell of roses
  2. noun any property detected by the olfactory system
    scent; odor; odour; aroma; olfactory property.
  3. noun the general atmosphere of a place or situation and the effect that it has on people
    flavour; look; feel; tone; flavor; feeling; spirit.
    • the feel of the city excited him
    • a clergyman improved the tone of the meeting
    • it had the smell of treason
  4. noun the faculty that enables us to distinguish scents
    sense of smell; olfaction; olfactory modality.
  5. noun the act of perceiving the odor of something
  6. verb inhale the odor of; perceive by the olfactory sense
  7. verb emit an odor
    • The soup smells good
  8. verb smell bad
    • He rarely washes, and he smells
  9. verb have an element suggestive (of something)
    smack; reek.
    • his speeches smacked of racism
    • this passage smells of plagiarism
  10. verb become aware of not through the senses but instinctively
    smell out; sense.
    • I sense his hostility
    • i smell trouble
    • smell out corruption

Smell transitive verb
OE. smellen, smillen, smullen; cf. LG. smellen, smelen, smölen, schmelen, to smoke, to reek, D. smeulen to smolder, and E. smolder. Cf. Smell, n.
imperfect & past participle Smelled Smelt ; present participle & verbal noun Smelling
  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.
  2. To detect or perceive, as if by the sense of smell; to scent out; -- often with out. "I smell a device." Shak.
    Can you smell him out by that? Shak.
  3. To give heed to. Obs.
    From that time forward I began to smellthe Word of God, and forsook the school doctors. Latimer.
Smell intransitive verb
  1. To affect the olfactory nerves; to have an odor or scent; -- often followed by of; as, to smell of smoke, or of musk.
  2. To have a particular tincture or smack of any quality; to savor; as, a report smells of calumny.
    Praises in an enemy are superfluous, or smell of craft. Milton.
  3. To exercise the sense of smell. Ex. xxx. 38.
  4. To exercise sagacity. Shak.
Smell noun
OE. smel, smil, smul, smeol. See Smell, v. t.
  1. The sense or faculty by which certain qualities of bodies are perceived through the instrumentally of the olfactory nerves. See Sense.
  2. The quality of any thing or substance, or emanation therefrom, which affects the olfactory organs; odor; scent; fragrance; perfume; as, the smell of mint.
    Breathing the smell of field and grove. Milton.
    That which, above all others, yields the sweetest smell in the air, is the violent. Bacon.
    Syn. -- Scent; odor; perfume; fragrance.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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