English dictionary

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English noun: smell

1. smell (cognition) the sensation that results when olfactory receptors in the nose are stimulated by particular chemicals in gaseous form

SamplesShe loved the smell of roses.

Synonymsodor, odour, olfactory perception, olfactory sensation

Broader (hypernym)aesthesis, esthesis, sensation, sense datum, sense experience, sense impression

Narrower (hyponym)acridity, aroma, fetor, foetor, fragrance, malodor, malodour, mephitis, perfume, reek, scent, scent, stench, stink

2. smell (attribute) any property detected by the olfactory system

Synonymsaroma, odor, odour, olfactory property, scent

Broader (hypernym)property

Narrower (hyponym)bouquet, fetidness, foulness, fragrance, fragrancy, malodorousness, muskiness, rancidness, rankness, redolence, stinkiness, sweetness

Attributeinodorous, odorless, odorous, odourless

3. smell (state) the general atmosphere of a place or situation and the effect that it has on people

SamplesThe feel of the city excited him.
A clergyman improved the tone of the meeting.
It had the smell of treason.

Synonymsfeel, feeling, flavor, flavour, look, spirit, tone

Broader (hypernym)ambiance, ambience, atmosphere

Narrower (hyponym)Hollywood, Zeitgeist

4. smell (cognition) the faculty that enables us to distinguish scents

Synonymsolfaction, olfactory modality, sense of smell

Broader (hypernym)exteroception, modality, sense modality, sensory system

Narrower (hyponym)nose

5. smell (act) the act of perceiving the odor of something


Broader (hypernym)perception, sensing

Narrower (hyponym)sniff, snuff

English verb: smell

1. smell (perception) inhale the odor of; perceive by the olfactory sense

ExamplesThe customs agents smell the bags for drugs

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)comprehend, perceive

Narrower (hyponym)get a noseful, get a whiff, nose, scent, sniff, snuff, snuffle, whiff, wind

2. smell (perception) emit an odor

SamplesThe soup smells good.

ExamplesThe food does smell good

Pattern of useSomething ----s.
Somebody ----s.
Something ----s Adjective/Noun.
Somebody ----s Adjective

Broader (hypernym)cause to be perceived

Narrower (hyponym)smell

3. smell (perception) smell bad

SamplesHe rarely washes, and he smells.

Pattern of useSomething ----s.
Somebody ----s

Broader (hypernym)smell

Narrower (hyponym)reek, salute, stink

4. smell (perception) have an element suggestive (of something)

SamplesHis speeches smacked of racism.
This passage smells of plagiarism.

Synonymsreek, smack

Pattern of useSomething ----s something

Broader (hypernym)evoke, paint a picture, suggest

5. smell (cognition) become aware of not through the senses but instinctively

SamplesI sense his hostility.
I smell trouble.
Smell out corruption.

Synonymssense, smell out

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s that CLAUSE

Broader (hypernym)perceive

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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