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See more synonyms for mephitic on Thesaurus.com
  1. offensive to the smell.
  2. noxious; pestilential; poisonous.
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Origin of mephitic

From the Late Latin word mephīticus, dating back to 1615–25. See mephitis, -ic
Related formsme·phit·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for mephitic

Historical Examples

  • The insect braves with impunity the strongest odours and mephitic miasmas.

    The Insect

    Jules Michelet

  • Was the embryo ripe, that the womb had become its mephitic prison?

  • The warm, sluggish air lay about him, mephitic in its touch.

    Carmen Ariza

    Charles Francis Stocking

  • But the heat and mephitic vapors of his native isle revenged him.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte

    William Milligan Sloane

  • Its mephitic influence in society is too palpable to be overlooked.

British Dictionary definitions for mephitic



  1. poisonous; foul
  2. foul-smelling; putrid
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Derived Formsmephitically, adverb

Word Origin

C17: from Late Latin mephīticus pestilential
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 mephitic


1620s, "of poisonous smell," from Late Latin mephiticus, from Latin mephitis, mefitis "noxious vapor" (also personified as a goddess believed to have the power to avert it).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mephitic in Medicine


  1. Having a foul odor; foul-smelling.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.