- the property of a substance that activates the sense of smell: to have an unpleasant odor.
- a sensation perceived by the sense of smell; scent.
- an agreeable scent; fragrance.
- a disagreeable smell.
- a quality or property characteristic or suggestive of something: An odor of suspicion surrounded his testimony.
- repute: in bad odor with the whole community.
- Archaic. something that has a pleasant scent.
Origin of odor
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for odour
It filled my head, that muttering sound, like thick oily smoke from a fat-rendering vat or an odour of noisome decay.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
When the tomb of Saint Cecilia was opened an odour of roses came up from her coffin.The Dream
The oil will be found to have imbibed the odour of the flowers.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
There was an odour of pomade and vanilla that made me feel sick.My Double Life
The odour of the victuals seemed to thicken into a kind of smoke.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
To one the sonata is a world of odour and beauty, to another of soothing only and sweetness.A Dish Of Orts
- the property of a substance that gives it a characteristic scent or smell
- a pervasive quality about somethingan odour of dishonesty
- repute or regard (in the phrases in good odour, in bad odour)
- the US spelling of odour
Word Origin and History for odour
c.1300, from Anglo-French odour, from Old French odor "smell, perfume, fragrance" (12c., Modern French odeur) and directly from Latin odor "a smell, a scent" (pleasant or disagreeable), from PIE *od- "to smell" (cf. Latin olere "emit a smell, to smell of," with Sabine -l- for -d-; Greek ozein "to smell;" Armenian hotim "I smell;" Lithuanian uodziu "to smell").
Good or bad odor, in reference to repute, estimation, is from 1835. Odor of sanctity (1756) is from French odeur de sainteté (17c.) "sweet or balsamic scent said to be exhaled by the bodies of eminent saints at death or upon disinterment."
- The property or quality of a thing that affects, stimulates, or is perceived by the sense of smell.
- A sensation, stimulation, or perception of the sense of smell.