- 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 nerves; detect the scent or odor of2. to sense the presence or existence of [to smell trouble]3. to test by the scent or odor; sniff [smell the milk to tell if it's sour]vi.1. to use the sense of smell; sniff: often with at or of2.a) to have or emit a scent or odor [flowers that do not smell]b) to have or emit an unpleasant odor; stink3. to have the odor or a suggestion (of) [breath that smells of garlic]4. Informala) to lack ability, worth, etc.; be of poor qualityb) to be foul, corrupt, mean, etc.n.[ME smel]1. that one of the five senses of the body by which a substance is perceived through the chemical stimulation of the olfactory nerves in the nasal cavity by particles given off by that substance2. the characteristic stimulation of any specific substance upon the olfactory nerves; odor; scent3. an act of smelling4. that which suggests the presence or existence of something; trace; suggestion——————smell outto look for or find by or as by smelling——————smell upto fill with a bad odor; cause to stinksmellern.SYN.- SMELL is the most general word for any quality perceived through the olfactory sense [foul and fresh smells]; SCENT refers to the emanation from the thing smelled, often implying that it can be discriminated only by a sensitive sense of smell [the scent of a hunted animal ]; ODOR suggests a heavier emanation and, therefore, one that is more generally perceptible and more clearly recognizable [chemical odors]; AROMA suggests a pervasive, pleasant, often spicy odor [the aroma of fine tobacco ]
English World dictionary. V. Neufeldt. 2014.