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smelt1

[smelt]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to fuse or melt (ore) in order to separate the metal contained.
  2. to obtain or refine (metal) in this way.

Origin of smelt1

1535–45; probably < Middle Dutch or Middle Low German smelten; cognate with German schmelzen to melt1, smelt

smelt2

[smelt]
noun, plural (especially collectively) smelt, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) smelts.
  1. any of various small, silvery food fishes of the family Osmeridae, of cold northern waters, as the North American rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax.
  2. any of several superficially similar but unrelated fishes, especially certain silversides, of California.

Origin of smelt2

before 900; Middle English, Old English; compare Norwegian smelta whiting

smelt3

[smelt]
verb
  1. a simple past tense and past participle of smell.

smell

[smel]
verb (used with object), smelled or smelt, smell·ing.
  1. to perceive the odor or scent of through the nose by means of the olfactory nerves; inhale the odor of: I smell something burning.
  2. to test by the sense of smell: She smelled the meat to see if it was fresh.
  3. to perceive, detect, or discover by shrewdness or sagacity: The detective smelled foul play.
verb (used without object), smelled or smelt, smell·ing.
  1. to perceive something by its odor or scent.
  2. to search or investigate (followed by around or about).
  3. to give off or have an odor or scent: Do the yellow roses smell?
  4. to give out an offensive odor; stink.
  5. to have a particular odor (followed by of): My hands smell of fish.
  6. to have a trace or suggestion (followed by of).
  7. Informal. to be of inferior quality; stink: The play is good, but the direction smells.
  8. Informal. to have the appearance or a suggestion of guilt or corruption: They may be honest, but the whole situation smells.
noun
  1. the sense of smell; faculty of smelling.
  2. the quality of a thing that is or may be smelled; odor; scent.
  3. a trace or suggestion.
  4. an act or instance of smelling.
  5. a pervading appearance, character, quality, or influence: the smell of money.
Verb Phrases
  1. smell out, to look for or detect as if by smelling; search out: to smell out enemy spies.
  2. smell up, to fill with an offensive odor; stink up: The garbage smelled up the yard.
Idioms
  1. smell a rat. rat(def 6).

Origin of smell

1125–75; early Middle English smell, smull (noun), smellen, smullen (v.) < ?
Related formssmell·a·ble, adjectivesmell-less, adjectiveout·smell, verb (used with object), out·smelled or out·smelt, out·smel·ling.un·smelled, adjectiveun·smell·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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13. See odor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for smelt

smelt1

verb
  1. (tr) to extract (a metal) from (an ore) by heating

Word Origin

C15: from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch smelten; related to Old High German smelzan to melt

smelt2

noun plural smelt or smelts
  1. any marine or freshwater salmonoid food fish of the family Osmeridae, such as Osmerus eperlanus of Europe, having a long silvery body and occurring in temperate and cold northern waters

Word Origin

Old English smylt; related to Dutch, Danish smelt, Norwegian smelta, German Schmelz

smelt3

verb
  1. a past tense and past participle of smell

smell

verb smells, smelling, smelt or smelled
  1. (tr) to perceive the scent or odour of (a substance) by means of the olfactory nerves
  2. (copula) to have a specified smell; appear to the sense of smell to bethe beaches smell of seaweed; some tobacco smells very sweet
  3. (intr often foll by of) to emit an odour (of)the park smells of flowers
  4. (intr) to emit an unpleasant odour; stink
  5. (tr often foll by out) to detect through shrewdness or instinct
  6. (intr) to have or use the sense of smell; sniff
  7. (intr foll by of) to give indications (of)he smells of money
  8. (intr; foll by around, about, etc) to search, investigate, or pry
  9. (copula) to be or seem to be untrustworthy or corrupt
  10. smell a rat to detect something suspicious
noun
  1. that sense (olfaction) by which scents or odours are perceivedRelated adjective: olfactory
  2. anything detected by the sense of smell; odour; scent
  3. a trace or indication
  4. the act or an instance of smelling
Derived Formssmeller, noun

Word Origin

C12: of uncertain origin; compare Middle Dutch smölen to scorch
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 smelt

v.

mid-15c. (implied in smelter), from Dutch or Low German smelten, from Proto-Germanic *smelt- (cf. Old High German smelzan, German schmelzen "to melt"), from PIE *smeld-, variant of *mel- "soft." Thus the word is from a variant of the stem of Old English meltan "to melt" (see melt (v.)). Related: Smelted; smelting.

n.

Old English smelt "sardine, small salmon-like sea fish," cognate with Dutch smelt "sand eel," Danish smelt (c.1600). OED notes that it has a peculiar odor (but doesn't suggest a connection with smell); Klein suggests a connection with the way the fish melts in one's mouth. Century Dictionary speculates it means "smooth" and compares Old English smeolt, smylt "serene, smooth."

smell

v.

late 12c., "emit or perceive an odor," not found in Old English, perhaps cognate with Middle Dutch smolen, Low German smelen "to smolder" (see smolder). However, OED says "no doubt of Old English origin, but not recorded, and not represented in any of the cognate languages." Related: Smelled or smelt; smelling.

Smelling salts (1840), used to revive the woozy, typically were a scented preparation of carbonate of ammonia. Smell-feast (n.) "one who finds and frequents good tables, one who scents out where free food is to be had" is from 1510s ("very common" c.1540-1700, OED). Smell-smock "licentious man" was in use c.1550-c.1900. To smell a rat "be suspicious" is from 1540s.

smell

n.

"odor, aroma, stench," late 12c.; "faculty of perceiving by the nose," c.1200; see smell (v.). Ousted Old English stenc (see stench) in most senses.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

smelt in Medicine

smell

(smĕl)
v.
  1. To perceive the scent of something by means of the olfactory nerves.
n.
  1. The sense by which odors are perceived; the olfactory sense.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

smelt in Science

smelt

[smĕlt]
  1. To melt ores in order to extract the metals they contain. Oxide ores, such as iron ore, are smelted with carbon, which serves as a fuel and changes the ore into a reduced metal.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with smelt

smell

In addition to the idioms beginning with smell

also see:

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.