English [ edit ]
Alternative forms [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ]
From c.1400, from
Middle English sent ( noun ) and senten ( verb ), from Old French sentir ( “ to feel, perceive, smell ” ), from Old French "to feel, perceive, sentire ", from sense Latin , present active infinitive of sentīre . Ultimately from sentiō Proto-Indo-European *sent- ( “ to feel ” ), and thus related to Dutch zin ( “ sense, meaning ” ), German Sinn ( “ sense ” ), Low German Sinn ( “ sense ” ), Luxembourgish Sënn ( “ sense, perception ” ), Saterland Frisian Sin ( “ sense ” ), West Frisian sin ( “ sense ” ). The -c- appeared in the 17th century, possibly by influence of , ascent , etc., or by influence of descent .
Pronunciation [ edit ]
scent ( , countable and uncountable plural ) scents
Synonyms: , aroma , bouquet , fragrance , nosegay , odor , perfume , redolence smell
the scent of flowers / of a skunk
to give off / release / exude a scent to breathe in / inhale a scent
, 1667 John Milton, “ Book VIII”, in , London: Paradise Lost. [ … ] [ … ] [ Samuel Simmons], [ … ] , ; republished as →OCLC Paradise Lost in Ten Books:, London: Basil Montagu Pickering [ … ] [ … ] , 1873, , lines →OCLC 586-588: hunger and thirst at once, / Powerful perswaders, quick’nd at the scent / Of that alluring fruit,
, 1892 Walt Whitman, “ Song of Myself”, in , Philadelphia, Pa.: Leaves of Grass [ … ] David McKay, publisher, [ … ] , , →OCLC page : 49 The scent of these arm-pits is aroma finer than prayer,
, 2014 Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, chapter 32, in Dust , London: Granta Books, page  289: The air is thick with the unexpected scent of rain. A smell left by an animal that may be used for
The dogs picked up / caught the scent but then quickly lost it.
c. (date written), 1590–1592 William Shakespeare, “ The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies ( [ … ] First Folio), London: [ … ] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed, published [ward ] Blount 1623, , →OCLC (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals): He [… ] twice to-day pick’d out the dullest scent; / Trust me, I take him for the better dog. December 31 (indicated as 1817 1818), [Walter Scott], chapter VII, in , volumes Rob Roy. [ … ] (please specify |volume=I to III), Edinburgh: [ … ] James Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Co. [ … ] ; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, , →OCLC page : 151 But see how the dogs puzzle about there. Come, Mr Frank, the scent’s cold; The
sense of smell.
Synonym: olfaction I believe the bloodhound has the best scent of all dogs.
, 1567 Ovid, “The Third Booke”, in Arthur Golding, transl., , London: The XV. Bookes of P. Ouidius Naso, Entytuled Metamorphosis, [ … ] [ … ] Willyam Seres [ … ] , , →OCLC folio 33, recto: His houndes espyde him where he was, and Blacksoote first of all / And Stalker speciall good of sent began aloud to call.
, [ 1818 Mary Shelley], chapter V, in , volume II, London: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. [ … ] [ … ] [Macdonald and Son ] for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, , →OCLC page : 76 [I]nnumerable flowers, sweet to the scent and the eyes , 1855 Frederick Douglass, chapter 21, in , New York, Auburn, N.Y.: Miller, Orton & Mulligan My Bondage and My Freedom. [ … ] [ … ] , , part I (Life as a Slave), →OCLC page : 322 Keen is the scent of the slaveholder; like the fangs of the rattlesnake, his malice retains its poison long; and, although it is now nearly seventeen years since I made my escape, it is well to be careful, in dealing with the circumstances relating to it.
A ( chiefly uncountable ) substance (usually liquid) created to provide a pleasant smell.
Synonyms: , aftershave , cologne , eau de toilette , perfume toilet water
a scent shop a scent bazaar
, 1955 C. S. Lewis, chapter 6, in , New York: HarperCollins, published The Magician’s Nephew 2010: He took a clean handkerchief (a lovely one such as you couldn’t buy today) out of the little left-hand drawer and put a few drops of scent on it. , 2014 Damon Galgut, chapter 6, in Arctic Summer, McClelland & Stewart, page : 285 He went tripping away under a canvas umbrella, trailing the smell of cheap scent.
Any ( figuratively ) trail or trace that can be followed to find something or someone, such as the paper left behind in a paperchase.
The minister's off-hand remark put journalists on the scent of a cover-up.
The tip put the detectives on a false scent / the wrong scent.
to pick up a ― scent / get scent of something discover one of a series of clues in the trail of evidence to throw / put someone off the ― scent distract them from following the trail of evidence
, 1749 Henry Fielding, chapter V, in , volume I, London: The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling A, [ndrew ] Millar [ … ] , , book II, →OCLC page : 71 Mrs. Wilkins having [… ] by Accident, gotten a true Scent of the above Story [… ] failed not to satisfy herself thoroughly of all the Particulars,
(date written), 1791 Mary Wollstonecraft, chapter 13, in , 1st American edition, Boston, Mass.: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects [ … ] Peter Edes for Thomas and Andrews, [ … ] , published 1792, : →OCLC Before marriage it is their business to please men; and after, with a few exceptions, they follow the same scent with all the persevering pertinacity of instinct. , 1926 Nevil Shute, chapter 3, in Marazan , London: Cassell:  Gullivant had to be firmly identified with Compton, the convict, in such a way as to bring the police hot on the scent. ( obsolete ) Sense, perception.
Usage notes [ edit ]
Although historically the term was applied indifferently to odours of any kind, it is now more often used to refer to pleasant ones (like and aroma ), while fragrance and odour are more often used for unpleasant ones. smell
Derived terms [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ]
distinctive odour or smell
رَائِحَة (ar) f ( rāʔiḥa ), ( plural ) رَوَائِح f pl ( rawāʔiḥ )
Hijazi Arabic: ريحة f ( rīḥa ) Armenian:
բույր (hy) ( buyr ), բուրմունք (hy) ( burmunkʿ ) Bashkir:
еҫ ( yeθ ) Belarusian:
за́пах m ( zápax ), пах m ( pax ) Bengali:
গন্ধ (bn) ( gondho ) Bulgarian:
мирис (bg) m ( miris ), миризма (bg) f ( mirizma ) Catalan:
esència f Chinese:
Mandarin: 氣味 ／ 气味 (zh) ( qìwèi ) Czech:
vůně (cs) f Dutch:
geur (nl) , m reuk (nl) f Egyptian: (
) sṯ Finnish:
tuoksu (fi) ( generally pleasurable ), haju (fi) ( generally unpleasant ) French:
odeur (fr) m Galician:
recendo (gl) , m cheirume , m cheiro (gl) m German:
Geruch (de) , m Duft (de) m Gothic:
𐌳𐌰𐌿𐌽𐍃 f ( dauns ) Greek:
οσμή (el) f ( osmí ), μυρωδιά (el) f ( myrodiá )
Ancient: ὀσμή f ( osmḗ ) Hebrew:
ריח (he) m ( réakh ) Hindi:
गंध (hi) f ( gandh ) Hungarian:
illat (hu) ( pleasant ) Irish:
boladh m Japanese:
( good smell ) 香り (ja) ( かおり, kaori ), 匂い (ja) ( におい, nioi ); ( unpleasant smell ) 臭い (ja) ( におい, nioi ); ( good smell ) Khmer:
ក្លិន (km) ( klən ) Korean:
냄새 (ko) ( naemsae ) Latin:
odor m Malay:
bau (ms) Maori:
, kakara tīare Maranao:
duft (no) Oromo:
عطر (fa) ( 'atr ) Plautdietsch:
Jeroch n Polish:
zapach (pl) , m woń (pl) f Portuguese:
cheiro (pt) , m aroma (pt) , m odor (pt) m Romanian:
miros (ro) n Russian:
за́пах (ru) m ( zápax ) Serbo-Croatian:
мирис m Roman: miris (sh) m Slovak:
vôňa f Slovene:
vonj (sl) f Spanish:
olor (es) , m esencia (es) f Swahili:
harufu (sw) Swedish:
doft (sv) c Tatar:
ис (tt) ( is ) Thai:
กลิ่น (th) ( glìn ) Tocharian B:
were Tok Pisin:
за́пах m ( zápax ) Vietnamese:
mùi (vi) Welsh: aroglau (cy) , m persawr (cy) m ( literary )
figuratively: any traces that can be followed
Translations to be checked
See also [ edit ]
scent ( third-person singular simple present , scents present participle , scenting simple past and past participle ) scented
To detect the scent of; to ( transitive ) discern by the sense of smell.
Synonym: smell The hounds scented the fox in the woods.
c. (date written), 1599–1602 William Shakespeare, “ The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies ( [ … ] First Folio), London: [ … ] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed, published [ward ] Blount 1623, , [Act I, scene v]: →OCLC methinks I scent the morning air.
, 1860 Wilkie Collins, “ The Woman in White”, in London , volume 3, Sampson Low, Son, & Co., page  334: if she had scented danger in the air, as a dog scents the presence of some creature unseen, her alarm could not have displayed itself more suddenly
To ( transitive, intransitive ) inhale in order to detect the scent of (something).
Synonyms: , sniff smell
, 1903 Jack London, chapter 7, in The Call of the Wild , New York: Macmillan, page  201: One night he sprang from sleep with a start, eager-eyed, nostrils quivering and scenting,
To have a ( transitive , figurative ) suspicion of; to detect the possibility of (something).
Synonyms: , detect , discern , perceive sense I scented trouble when I saw them running down the hill towards me.
, 1978 Lawrence Durrell, chapter 1, in Livia , London: Faber and Faber, page  48: A mysterious scene to me then—yet I scented that there was something momentous about it, though I could not tell what.
To ( transitive ) impart an odour to, to cause to have a particular smell.
Synonyms: , perfume odorize Scent the air with burning sage before you begin your meditation.
, 1685 John Dryden, “The Epithalamium of Helen and Menelaus”, in Sylvæ, or, The Second Part of Poetical Miscellanies , London: Jacob Tonson, page  105: Balm, from a Silver box distill’d around, / Shall all bedew the roots and scent the sacred ground;
, 1796 John Gabriel Stedman, chapter 25, in Narrative of a Five Years’ Expedition , volume 2, London: J. Johnson & J. Edwards, page  235: [Vanilla pods] have a fat rich aromatic taste, and most agreeable flavour; on which account they are used to scent the chocolate.
December – 1860 1861 August, Charles Dickens, chapter VII, in , volume III, London: Great Expectations [ … ] Chapman and Hall, [ … ] , published October 1861, , →OCLC page : 103 [… ] the air [… ] was scented, not disagreeably, by the chips and shavings of the long-shore boat-builders, and mast oar and block makers. , 1999 Ahdaf Soueif, chapter 18, in The Map of Love , London: Bloomsbury, page  300: You adorn yourself and scent yourself and sit with him in a comfortable way—
To have a smell; ( intransitive , obsolete ) to give an ( figuratively ) impression ( of something).
, C[aius] Plinius Secundus [ 1601 i.e., Pliny the Elder], “[Book XXXV.] 15.”, in Philemon Holland, transl., , 2nd tome, London: The Historie of the World. Commonly Called, The Naturall Historie of C. Plinius Secundus. [ … ] [ … ] Adam Islip, published 1635, , →OCLC page : 557 Thunderbolts & lightnings [… ] do sent strongly of brimstone:
1647, John Fletcher and Philip Massinger, Act The False One, III, Scene 2, in Fifty Comedies and Tragedies, London: John Martyn et al., p. 325,
 I smell him now: fie, how the Knave perfumes him, / How strong he scents of Traitor? , 1647 Thomas Fuller, The Cause and Cure of a Wounded Conscience , London: John Williams, Dialogue 21, page  154: though praying for a wounded Conscience may seemingly scent of pretended humility, it doth really and rankly savour of pride, To hunt animals by means of the sense of smell.
Derived terms [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ]
Translations to be checked
Anagrams [ edit ]