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[stench] /stɛntʃ/
an offensive smell or odor; stink.
a foul quality.
Origin of stench
before 900; Middle English; Old English stenc odor (good or bad); akin to stink
Related forms
stenchful, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for stench
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The dust, the smoke, and the stench of the powder were suffocating.

  • Fog, and drizzle, and smoke, and stench composed the atmosphere.

    David Elginbrod George MacDonald
  • stench of fat kitchens, of soft bubbling alleys, of gleaming refuse.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht
  • And I don't like the stench of that kind of cop in my place.

    Police Your Planet Lester del Rey
  • At the vesper hour, there came an eighth, the stench of which was horrible.

    Thais Anatole France
British Dictionary definitions for stench


a strong and extremely offensive odour; stink
Word Origin
Old English stenc; related to Old Saxon, Old High German stank; see stink
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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Word Origin and History for stench

Old English stenc "a smell" (either pleasant or unpleasant), from Proto-Germanic *stankwiz (cf. Old Saxon stanc, Old High German stanch, German stank). Related to stincan "emit a smell" (see stink) as drench is to drink. The notion of "evil smell" predominated from c.1200.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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