scent

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From c.1400, borrowed from Old French sentir (to feel, perceive, smell), from Old French sentire "to feel, perceive, sense", from Latin sentīre, present active infinitive of sentiō. Ultimately from 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, descent, etc., or by influence of science.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

scent (countable and uncountable, plural scents)

  1. A distinctive odour or smell.
    the scent of flowers
    the scent of a skunk
  2. An odour left by an animal that may be used for tracing.
    The dogs lost the scent.
  3. The sense of smell.
    I believe the bloodhound has the best scent of all dogs.
  4. A perfume.
  5. (figurative) Any trail or trace that can be followed to find something or someone, such as the paper left behind in a paperchase.
  6. (obsolete) Sense, perception.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene:
      A fit false dream, that can delude the sleeper's sent.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Almost always applied to agreeable odors (fragrances).

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb[edit]

scent (third-person singular simple present scents, present participle scenting, simple past and past participle scented)

  1. (transitive) To detect the scent of; to discern by the sense of smell.
    The hounds scented the fox in the woods.
  2. (transitive, figurative) To have a suspicion of.
    I scented trouble when I saw them running down the hill towards me.
  3. (transitive) To impart an odour to.
    Scent the air with burning sage before you begin your meditation.
    • ???, John Dryden, Helen and Melenaus
      Balm from a silver box distilled around, / Shall all bedew the roots, and scent the sacred ground.
  4. (intransitive, archaic) To have a smell.
    • (Can we date this quote by Holland and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      Thunderbolts [] do scent strongly of brimstone.
  5. To hunt animals by means of the sense of smell.

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Anagrams[edit]