smell1 [ smel ] noun **
1. ) count the pleasant or unpleasant quality of something that you notice when you breathe in through your nose:
This paint gives off a very strong smell.
unpleasant smells
smell of: There's a delicious smell of fresh bread coming from the kitchen.
a ) an unpleasant smell:
Whatever is that smell?
─ compare AROMA
2. ) uncount the ability to notice or recognize smells:
Some experts can tell by smell alone what ingredients are in a dish.
sense of smell: Dogs have an excellent sense of smell.
3. ) count usually singular an instance of smelling something:
Take a smell of this perfume.
smell 2 [ smel ] (past tense and past participle smelled or smelt [ smelt ] ) verb **
▸ 1 have particular smell
▸ 2 notice/recognize smell
▸ 3 put nose close to smell
▸ 4 be able to smell things
▸ 5 feel something will happen
▸ 6 be illegal/dishonest
1. ) linking verb to have a particular smell:
This room smells a little damp.
a strong-smelling perfume
This milk smells off (=no longer fresh).
smell of: The laboratory smelled strongly of chemicals.
smell like: It smells like a bar in here.
a ) intransitive never progressive to have an unpleasant smell:
His feet really smell.
2. ) transitive never progressive to notice or recognize the smell of something:
Sasha could smell the sweet aroma of warm chocolate.
Do you smell gas?
3. ) transitive to experience the smell of something by putting your nose close to it:
Come and smell these roses.
4. ) intransitive never progressive to be able to experience the smell of things:
I can't smell at all with this cold.
5. ) transitive to feel that something is going to happen, usually something bad:
smell danger/trouble: I could just smell trouble in that club.
6. ) intransitive to be illegal or dishonest:
I can't put my finger on it, but something about this deal really smells.
smell blood
to notice that an opponent is weak and that you have the opportunity to defeat them
smell a rat INFORMAL
to believe that something dishonest, illegal, or wrong has happened
,smell `up phrasal verb transitive
to cause a place or person to have an unpleasant smell:
That burnt fish is smelling up the whole house.

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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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|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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