Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "smell" []

  • To perceive the scent of (something) by means of the olfactory nerves. (verb-transitive)
  • To sense the presence of by or as if by the olfactory nerves; detect or discover: We smelled trouble ahead. The committee tried to smell out corruption in law enforcement. (verb-transitive)
  • To use the sense of smell; perceive the scent of something. (verb-intransitive)
  • To have or emit an odor: "The breeze smelled exactly like Vouvray—flowery, with a hint of mothballs underneath” ( Anne Tyler). (verb-intransitive)
  • To be suggestive; have a touch of something: a cave that smells of terror. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "smell" in a sentence
  • "Tom- Just went back and read your review of Oud 27 and have put it in my list of 'to smell'..though right now Arabian Oud's King Fahed is what I am dying to smell!"
  • "* We swap pjs, his are still warm and smell like cigarette smoke mixed with fresh masculine smell*"
  • "Among senses, smell was the strongest: —smell of hot pine-woods and sweet-fern in the scorching summer noon; of new-mown hay; of ploughed earth; of box hedges; of peaches, lilacs, syringes; of stables, barns, cow-yards; of salt water and low tide on the marshes; nothing came amiss."