- to fuse or melt (ore) in order to separate the metal contained.
- to obtain or refine (metal) in this way.
Origin of smelt1
- any of various small, silvery food fishes of the family Osmeridae, of cold northern waters, as the North American rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax.
- any of several superficially similar but unrelated fishes, especially certain silversides, of California.
Origin of smelt2
- a simple past tense and past participle of smell.
- to perceive the odor or scent of through the nose by means of the olfactory nerves; inhale the odor of: I smell something burning.
- to test by the sense of smell: She smelled the meat to see if it was fresh.
- to perceive, detect, or discover by shrewdness or sagacity: The detective smelled foul play.
- to perceive something by its odor or scent.
- to search or investigate (followed by around or about).
- to give off or have an odor or scent: Do the yellow roses smell?
- to give out an offensive odor; stink.
- to have a particular odor (followed by of): My hands smell of fish.
- to have a trace or suggestion (followed by of).
- Informal. to be of inferior quality; stink: The play is good, but the direction smells.
- Informal. to have the appearance or a suggestion of guilt or corruption: They may be honest, but the whole situation smells.
- the sense of smell; faculty of smelling.
- the quality of a thing that is or may be smelled; odor; scent.
- a trace or suggestion.
- an act or instance of smelling.
- a pervading appearance, character, quality, or influence: the smell of money.
- smell out, to look for or detect as if by smelling; search out: to smell out enemy spies.
- smell up, to fill with an offensive odor; stink up: The garbage smelled up the yard.
- smell a rat. rat(def 6).
Origin of smell
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for smelt
My nostrils have smelt the horrors of the (cloth) diaper pail.Why Men Shouldn’t Wait To Have Kids
Conor P. Williams
March 8, 2014
The Romans learned how to smelt copper into brass, then bronze, to make weapons, and suddenly war was an entirely different game.Copper, the Metal That Runs the World: ‘Boom, Bust, Boom,’ by Bill Carter
October 26, 2012
Mr. COX said he could not smelt a pig, but he thought he smelt a rat.
The Regent, who smelt the rat, turned on his heel, and said nothing.The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete
Duc de Saint-Simon
She suffered horribly, too, in that stiff, lonely dwelling which smelt of the tomb.
However, the sight of the roses, overlapping the water-jug, pacified him; they smelt so sweet.
The shop, which was already three parts eaten up, smelt of ruin.L'Assommoir
- (tr) to extract (a metal) from (an ore) by heating
- 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
- a past tense and past participle of smell
- (tr) to perceive the scent or odour of (a substance) by means of the olfactory nerves
- (copula) to have a specified smell; appear to the sense of smell to bethe beaches smell of seaweed; some tobacco smells very sweet
- (intr often foll by of) to emit an odour (of)the park smells of flowers
- (intr) to emit an unpleasant odour; stink
- (tr often foll by out) to detect through shrewdness or instinct
- (intr) to have or use the sense of smell; sniff
- (intr foll by of) to give indications (of)he smells of money
- (intr; foll by around, about, etc) to search, investigate, or pry
- (copula) to be or seem to be untrustworthy or corrupt
- smell a rat to detect something suspicious
- that sense (olfaction) by which scents or odours are perceivedRelated adjective: olfactory
- anything detected by the sense of smell; odour; scent
- a trace or indication
- the act or an instance of smelling
Word Origin and History for smelt
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.
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."
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.
- To perceive the scent of something by means of the olfactory nerves.
- The sense by which odors are perceived; the olfactory sense.
- 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.