informal Begin to suspect trickery or deception: when he died, investigators were called in and soon smelt a rat
More example sentences
- Residents of Hopgrove were sent letters informing them their wheelie bins would arrive at the beginning of April but, when none turned up, they began to smell a rat.
- Within a few days however somebody began to smell a rat when the ‘exact same letter’ - except for the signatures of course - began to turn up in eleven different US local newspaper groups.
- They failed to smell a rat despite Baron Cohen's absurd questions.
Definition of smell a rat in:
- The US English dictionary