the faculty or power of perceiving odors or scents by means of the organs in the nose:a highly developed sense of smelldogs locate the bait by smell
a quality in something that is perceived by the faculty of smell; an odor or scent:lingering kitchen smellsa smell of coffee
an unpleasant odor:twenty-seven cats lived there—you can imagine the smell!
[in singular] an act of inhaling in order to ascertain an odor or scent:have a smell of this
verb (past and past participle smelt /smelt/ or smelled)
1 [with object] perceive or detect the odor or scent of (something):I think I can smell something burning
sniff at (something) in order to perceive or detect its odor or scent:the dogs smell each other
(smell something out) detect or discover something by the faculty of smell:his nose can smell out an animal from ten miles away
detect or suspect (something) by means of instinct or intuition:he can smell trouble long before it gets serioushe can smell out weakness in others
2 [no object] emit an odor or scent of a specified kind:it smelled like cough medicine [with complement]:the food smelled and tasted good [as adjective, in combination]: (-smelling)pungent-smelling food
have a strong or unpleasant odor:if I don’t get a bath soon I’ll start to smellit smells in here
appear in a certain way; be suggestive of something:it smells like a hoax to me
discern weakness or vulnerability in an opponent.
smell a rat
informal suspect trickery or deception.
smell the roses
North American informal enjoy or appreciate what is often ignored.
smell something up
permeate an area with a bad smell:he smelled up the whole house