- (in nontechnical use) a noxious or pestilential exhalation from the earth, as poison gas.
- any noisome or poisonous stench.
Origin of mephitis
1700–10; < Latin mephītis, mefītis; compare Oscan Mefit(eí) the goddess of such exhalations
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for mephitis
Mephitis is, however, purely American wherever he comes from.
A skunk, (mephitis Americana,) which was killed in the afternoon, made a supper for one of the messes.The Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and California
Brevet Col. J.C. Fremont
Tortoises were very common, and the mephitis left frequent traces of his existence.
Mephitis, me-fī′tis, n. a poisonous exhalation from the ground or from decaying substances—also Mephī′tism.
Because the odor is quite like Mephitis it is considered a so-called anti-spasmodic.
- An offensive smell; a stench.
- A poisonous or foul-smelling gas emitted from the earth.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.