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Dictionary Information: Definition Smell
Thesaurus: Smell
Description and Meaning: The Perceptions of Smell

  Smell (Smell) (?), v. t.
[imp. & p. p. Smelled (?), Smelt (¿); p. pr. & vb. n. Smelling.]
[OE. smellen, smillen, smullen; cf. LG. smellen, smelen, smölen, schmelen, to smoke, to reek, D. smeulen to smolder, and E. smolder. Cf. Smell, n.]

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.

-- To smell a rat, to have a sense of something wrong, not clearly evident; to have reason for suspicion. [Colloq.]
-- To smell out, to find out by sagacity. [Colloq.]
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.
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 (Smell), n.
[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.

Synonyms -- Scent; odor; perfume; fragrance.

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