Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

perfume

[noun pur-fyoom, per-fyoom; verb per-fyoom, pur-fyoom]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a substance, extract, or preparation for diffusing or imparting an agreeable or attractive smell, especially a fluid containing fragrant natural oils extracted from flowers, woods, etc., or similar synthetic oils.
  2. the scent, odor, or volatile particles emitted by substances that smell agreeable.
verb (used with object), per·fumed, per·fum·ing.
  1. (of substances, flowers, etc.) to impart a pleasant fragrance to.
  2. to impregnate with a sweet odor; scent.

Origin of perfume

1525–35; earlier parfume (noun) < Middle French parfum, noun derivative of parfumer (v.) < obsolete Italian parfumare (modern profumare). See per-, fume
Related formsper·fume·less, adjectiveper·fum·y, adjectiveun·per·fumed, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. essence, attar, scent; incense. 2. Perfume, aroma, fragrance all refer to agreeable odors. Perfume often indicates a strong, rich smell, natural or manufactured: the perfume of flowers. Fragrance is usually applied to fresh, delicate, and delicious odors, especially from growing things: fragrance of new-mown hay. Aroma is restricted to a somewhat spicy smell: the aroma of coffee.

Antonyms

2. stench.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for perfume

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for perfume

perfume

noun (ˈpɜːfjuːm)
  1. a mixture of alcohol and fragrant essential oils extracted from flowers, spices, etc, or made synthetically, used esp to impart a pleasant long-lasting scent to the body, stationery, etcSee also cologne, toilet water
  2. a scent or odour, esp a fragrant one
verb (pəˈfjuːm)
  1. (tr) to impart a perfume to

Word Origin

C16: from French parfum, probably from Old Provençal perfum, from perfumar to make scented, from per through (from Latin) + fumar to smoke, from Latin fumāre to smoke
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for perfume

n.

1530s, "fumes from a burning substance," from Middle French parfum (16c.), from parfumer "to scent," from Old Provençal perfumar or cognate words in dialectal Italian (perfumare) or Spanish (perfumar), from Latin per- "through" (see per) + fumare "to smoke" (see fume (n.)). Meaning "fluid containing agreeable essences of flowers, etc.," is attested from 1540s.

v.

1530s, "to fill with smoke or vapor," from perfume (n.) or from Middle French parfumer. Meaning "to impart a sweet scent to" is from 1530s. Related: Perfumed; perfuming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

  • About
  • Cookies, Terms, & Privacy
© 2018 Dictionary.com, LLC.