- a distinctive odor, especially when agreeable: the scent of roses.
- an odor left in passing, by means of which an animal or person may be traced.
- a track or trail as or as if indicated by such an odor: The dogs lost the scent and the prisoner escaped.
- the sense of smell: a remarkably keen scent.
- small pieces of paper dropped by the hares in the game of hare and hounds.
- to perceive or recognize by or as if by the sense of smell: to scent trouble.
- to fill with an odor; perfume.
- to hunt by the sense of smell, as a hound.
Origin of scent
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for scent
Selling off the extras, I saw my neighbor marvel at the scent and murmur that he wished he could afford one.A Million Ways to Die in Prison
December 8, 2014
He even claims that hen partridges conceive just by smelling the scent of males.Why Aristotle Deserves A Posthumous Nobel
October 18, 2014
This is not the boisterous version of Pacino, the one we saw as Tony Montana in Scarface or as Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman.Al Pacino Does What He Wants to Do: 'The Humbling,' Scorsese, and That 'Scarface' Remake
September 9, 2014
Unless, of course, everything he told us is “a big farce” to lead challengers off the scent.ESPN’s Bracket Champion Shares His March Madness Secrets
March 18, 2014
His movie career began in movies like Scent of a Woman (1992).Philip Seymour Hoffman: An Actor First
February 2, 2014
Taking to the water threw the hounds off the scent of the track.Biography of a Slave
Tse-tse, who trusted me to keep the scent, was watching ahead for a sight of the quarry.
We dropped behind a boulder and Tse-tse counted while I lifted every scent.
The professor, who was a kind-hearted man, drew a herring across the scent.
The scent of a big item was in his nostrils, and it stimulated him like champagne.
- a distinctive smell, esp a pleasant one
- a smell left in passing, by which a person or animal may be traced
- a trail, clue, or guide
- an instinctive ability for finding out or detecting
- another word (esp Brit) for perfume
- (tr) to recognize or be aware of by or as if by the smell
- (tr) to have a suspicion of; detectI scent foul play
- (tr) to fill with odour or fragrance
- (intr) (of hounds, etc) to hunt by the sense of smell
- to smell (at)the dog scented the air
Word Origin and History for scent
late 14c., sent "to find the scent of," from Old French sentir "to feel, smell, touch, taste; realize, perceive; make love to," from Latin sentire " to feel, perceive, sense, discern, hear, see" (see sense (n.)).
Originally a hunting term. The -c- appeared 17c., perhaps by influence of ascent, descent, etc., or by influence of science. This was a tendency in early Modern English, cf. scythe, and also scite, scituate. Figurative use from 1550s. Transitive sense "impregnate with an odor, perfume" is from 1690s. Related: Scented; scenting.
late 14c., "scent, smell, what can be smelled" (as a means of pursuit by a hound), from scent (v.). Almost always applied to agreeable odors.
Idioms and Phrases with scent
see throw off, def. 3.