Definition of odour in English:


Line breaks: odour
Pronunciation: /ˈəʊdə
(US odor)


1A distinctive smell, especially an unpleasant one: the odour of cigarette smoke
More example sentences
  • He could smell the familiar odour of rotting foliage in his nostrils.
  • During that time, the officer had smelled the odour of alcohol on the accused's breath.
  • Only when the deity smells the odour of sacrifice rightly made does he respond.
smell, scent, aroma, perfume, fragrance, bouquet, savour, nose, tang, essence, redolence; stench, stink, reek, fetor, malodour, miasma
British informal pong, whiff, niff, hum
Scottish informal guff
North American informal funk
rare mephitis
2A lingering quality or impression attaching to something: an odour of suspicion
More example sentences
  • It's a bit of an art, because you have to ensure a silent evacuation and a quick disassociation from any lingering odours.
  • The place still had an aura, and an odor, of corrupt bureaucrats and their intellectual lackeys about it.
  • Judging by auras and odors, the woman and one man were witches.
atmosphere, air, aura, quality, spirit, flavour, savour, emanation, hint, suggestion, impression, whiff, ambience, tone
2.1 [mass noun, with adjective] The state of being held in a specified regard: a decade of bad odour between Britain and the European Community
More example sentences
  • Let us begin by asking how it came about that the tradition fell into bad odor among us.


Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French, from Latin odor 'smell, scent'.


be in good (or bad) odour with

informal Be in (or out of) favour with (someone): I want him in good odour again with his king
More example sentences
  • For a long time Lucas was in bad odour with military veterans.
  • The party does not want to be in bad odour with the United States again.
  • Well, the only real explanation is that Britain is in very bad odour with the Greeks because of the Elgin Marbles.

odour of sanctity

A sweet odour reputedly emitted by the bodies of saints at or near death.
More example sentences
  • As with the odour of sanctity, the stench of sin was believed to be particularly noticeable when the soul left the body at the time of death.
A state of holiness.
More example sentences
  • His manual for organizers points out that mobilizing the religious community imparts the odor of sanctity to a left-wing social agenda.
  • Made dogma in the Christian doctrine of the ‘odor of sanctity,’ that moral interpretation of corrupt and incorruptible flesh permeated secular culture as well.

Definition of odour in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day hypnopompic
Pronunciation: ˌhipnəˈpämpik
relating to the state immediately preceding waking up...