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

Translation of smell in Spanish:


  • 1 countable (odor) a nice smell
    un olor agradable or un buen olor or (Latin America also) un rico olor
    an unpleasant smell
    un olor desagradable
    these roses have no smell
    estas rosas no tienen perfume
    there's a strong smell of garlic/burning in here
    huele mucho a ajo/a quemado
    hay mucho olor a ajo/a quemado
    this cheese has a funny smell
    este queso huele raro or tiene un olor raro
    there's a smell of defeat in the air
    el derrotismo se respira en el aire
    the sweet smell of success
    la seducción del éxito
    Example sentences
    • Christmas morning came with the smells of pine from candles and coffee in the kitchen.
    • Putrid smells of raw sewage and burning garbage become acceptable after being exposed to these foul scents for a long enough time.
    • As we were driving down these terrible, lumpy, unlit streets we were constantly catching whiffs of different smells.
  • 2 (sniff) [colloquial] (no plural) to have or take a smell at or of something
    oler algo
    get a smell of that cheese!
    ¡cómo apesta ese queso!
    Example sentences
    • He had a smell of the rose, it had a lovely perfume.
    • I love citrus -- but the first time I sprayed this on a card and took a smell I almost passed out. It is STRONG in the first few minutes.
  • 3 uncountable (sense of smell) a keen/good sense of smell
    un fino/buen (sentido del) olfato
    Example sentences
    • It's hard to breathe, your nose drips constantly and your sense of smell just isn't what it used to be.
    • All anteaters have an excellent sense of smell; sight and hearing are not as well developed.
    • On the day of the test none of the subjects reported to be suffering from nasal congestion or any other symptom thought to affect their sense of smell.

transitive verb past tense & past participle smelled or (British also) smelt

  • 1 (sense) I can smell freshly baked bread
    hay olor a pan recién hecho
    huele a pan recién hecho
    siento olor a pan recién hecho (esp Latin America)
    we could smell burning
    olía a quemado
    había olor a quemado
    Example sentences
    • I think a few more of those pastries have my name on them,’ she said looking down the hall to see if she could smell them out.
  • 2 (sniff at)
    the dog smelled my shoes
    el perro me olfateó los zapatos
    Example sentences
    • We separated the cats into two separate rooms and let them smell each other under the door.
    • And the new initiatives are bomb sniffing dogs we are looking at, so can smell explosives hidden in containers.
    • A police dog who happens to smell an illegal substance on casual passing in a train station is probably cause for detaining you.
    Example sentences
    • The National Party council could smell the trouble back then in December.
    • Lemond was unconvinced and believed, like many others, Hinault could smell a record sixth victory.
    • Even without any evidence he can smell out the truth.
  • 3 (recognize) to smell danger
    olfatear el peligro
    she can smell trouble a mile off
    se huele los problemas desde lejos

intransitive verb past tense & past participle smelled or (British also) smelt

  • 1 (give off odor) that smells good!
    ¡qué bien huele!
    ¡qué rico olor! (Latin America)
    it smells strong/delicious
    huele fuerte/delicioso
    tiene un olor muy fuerte/un olor delicioso
    it smells off
    huele a podrido
    tiene olor a podrido
    it smells in here
    ¡qué mal huele aquí!
    ¡qué mal olor hay aquí! (Southern Cone)
    your breath smells
    tienes mal aliento
    his feet smell he smells!
    huele mal
    frankly, this whole business smells [colloquial] [derogatory]
    este asunto huele mal
    este asunto huele a chamusquina [colloquial]
    her perfume smells like roses
    su perfume huele a rosas or tiene olor a rosas
    to smell of something
    oler a algo
    the room smelled of damp
    la habitación olía a humedad
    había olor a humedad en la habitación (Latin America)
    they smell of money [colloquial]
    están forrados (de dinero) [colloquial]
    están podridos en plata or (Spain) podridos de dinero [colloquial]
    Example sentences
    • You poured in everything that was left of the geranium essence, until the room was warm and scented and smelled like an exotic hothouse.
    • But something else came with the earthy scent - something that smelled like smoke.
    • It went on like this for several more rounds before what was in the pot finally tasted and smelled like something you'd want to serve on pasta.
    Example sentences
    • It is hard to describe what it is like under these bridges, where there is not enough height for a person to stand up straight, it smells, and the wind blows and even howls through the darkness.
    • Someone comes into the building and it smells, things fall off in their hands, the floor doesn't look too secure.
    • The carcass which had already began to smell revealed a red mess with two holes where eyes should have been.
  • 3 (sense) I can't smell: I've got a cold
    no huelo nada, estoy resfriado

Phrasal verbs

smell out

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
1 (detect)
2 (cause to smell) (British) [colloquial] smell up

smell up

verb + adverb + object, verb + object + adverb (US)
(hacer) apestar
dejar hediondo
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