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  1. a plant, drug, or medicine yielding a fragrant aroma, as sage or certain spices and oils.
  2. aromatic compound.

Origin of aromatic

1325–75; Middle English aromatyk (< Middle French) < Late Latin arōmaticus < Greek arōmatikós. See aroma, -ic
Related formsar·o·mat·i·cal·ly, adverbar·o·mat·ic·ness, nounnon·ar·o·mat·ic, adjectivenon·ar·o·mat·i·cal·ly, adverbun·ar·o·mat·ic, adjectiveun·ar·o·mat·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for aromatic


  1. having a distinctive, usually fragrant smell
  2. (of an organic compound) having an unsaturated ring containing alternating double and single bonds, esp containing a benzene ring; exhibiting aromaticityCompare aliphatic
  1. something, such as a plant or drug, giving off a fragrant smell
Derived Formsaromatically, adverb
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 aromatic

c.1400, aromatyk, from Middle French aromatique (14c.), from Latin aromaticus, from Greek aromatikos, from aroma (genitive aromatos) "seasoning, sweet spice," of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

aromatic in Medicine


  1. Having an agreeable, somewhat pungent, spicy odor.
  2. Of, relating to, or containing one or more six-carbon rings characteristic of the benzene series and related organic groups.
  1. Any of a group of vegetable-derived drugs having a fragrant odor and slight stimulative properties.
  2. An aromatic organic compound.
Related formsar′o•mati•cal•ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

aromatic in Science


  1. Relating to an organic compound containing at least one benzene ring or similar ring-shaped component. Naphthalene and TNT are aromatic compounds. Compare aliphatic.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.