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90s Slang You Should Know

smelling salts

noun, (used with a plural verb)
a preparation for smelling, essentially of ammonium carbonate with some agreeable scent, used as a stimulant and restorative.
Origin of smelling salts
First recorded in 1830-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for smelling salts
Historical Examples
  • Someone gave Athalie smelling salts; she was taken into the fresh air; but she was careful not to recover consciousness.

  • Have another whiff of these smelling salts and you'll feel better.

    By Proxy Gordon Randall Garrett
  • smelling salts were applied;—they were rather weak, so the widow inhaled the pleasing odour with a sigh, but did not recover.

    Handy Andy, Volume One Samuel Lover
  • He found ointment for her burns; smelling salts; damp cloths.

    Creatures of Vibration Harl Vincent
  • Someone pushed through the crowd to Grace and thrust a bottle of smelling salts under her nose.

  • Maybe the smelling salts had something to do with it, but I rather think not.

  • Meriel threw open windows, found water and smelling salts, and unloosed the clothing round the neck.

    What a Man Wills Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • "If you don't mind—I'd like to give you my smelling salts," offered Ruth.

  • In the same way we always talk of the Victorian woman (with her smelling salts and sentiment) as the old-fashioned woman.

    George Bernard Shaw Gilbert K. Chesterton
  • Give me the smelling salts, Charlotte, love; mine does ache indeed!

    Handy Andy, Volume One Samuel Lover
British Dictionary definitions for smelling salts

smelling salts

plural noun
a pungent preparation containing crystals of ammonium carbonate that has a stimulant action when sniffed in cases of faintness, headache, etc
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
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smelling salts in Medicine

smelling salts pl.n.
Any of various preparations of ammonium carbonate and perfume, sniffed as a restorative or stimulant especially to relieve faintness and headache.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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