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British English: /smɛl/
American English: /smɛl/

Translation of smell in French:


  • 1 (odour) (gen)
    (unpleasant) (mauvaise) odeur (f)
    a smell of cooking/burning
    une odeur de cuisine/de brûlé
    there's a bit of a smell in here
    il y a une drôle d'odeur ici
    what a smell!
    comme ça sent mauvais!
  • 3 (action) to have a smell of ou at something
    sentir un peu quelque chose
  • 4 [figurative] (of absence, fraud, dishonesty)
    relents mpl

transitive verb prétpp smelled smelt (British English)

  • 1 [literal] (notice, detect)
    (sniff deliberately) (person)
    I could smell alcohol on his breath
    je sentais à son haleine qu'il avait bu
    I can smell lemons/burning
    ça sent le citron/le brûlé
  • 2 [figurative] (detect)
    flairer (danger, problem, success, change, good worker)
    repérer (liar, cheat)
    a good reporter can always smell a good story
    un bon journaliste flaire toujours une bonne histoire

intransitive verb prét, pp smelled smelt (British English)

  • 1 (have odour) (gen)
    (unpleasantly) sentir (mauvais)
    that smells nice/horrible
    ça sent bon/très mauvais
    this gas/flower doesn't smell
    ce gaz/cette fleur ne sent rien
    to smell of roses/garlic
    sentir la rose/l'ail
    that smells like curry
    ça sent le curry
  • 2 [figurative]to smell of racism/complacency/corruption
    sentir le racisme/la complaisance/la corruption
  • 3 (have sense of smell)
    avoir de l'odorat

Phrasal verbs

smell out

smell [something] out, smell out [something] 1.1 (sniff out, discover) [literal]
flairer (drugs, explosives)
1.2 [figurative]
découvrir (plot, treachery, corruption)
démasquer (spy, traitor)
1.3 (cause to stink)
empester, empuantir (room, house)
Definition of smell in:
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