[dee-oh-der-uh nt]


an agent for destroying odors.
a substance, often combined with an antiperspirant, for inhibiting or masking perspiration or other bodily odors.


capable of destroying odors: a deodorant cream.

Origin of deodorant

First recorded in 1865–70; de- + odor + -ant
Related formsnon·de·o·dor·ant, noun, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of deodorant

British Dictionary definitions for deodorant



  1. a substance applied to the body to suppress or mask the odour of perspiration or other body odours
  2. (as modifier)a deodorant spray Compare antiperspirant
any substance for destroying or masking odours, such as liquid sprayed into the air
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 deodorant

1848, originally of substances to quell the odor of manure, formed in English as if from de- + Latin odorem "smell" (see odor (n.)). In reference to a substance to be used on the human body, from 1860. An earlier version, a perfumed powder, was called empasm (1650s), from Greek *empasma "to sprinkle on."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

deodorant in Medicine




An agent that masks, suppresses, or neutralizes odors, especially a cosmetic applied to the skin to mask body odors.


Capable of masking, suppressing, or neutralizing odors.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.