[ oh-duh-rif-er-uhs ]
/ ˌoʊ dəˈrɪf ər əs /
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yielding or diffusing an odor.
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Origin of odoriferous

1425–75; late Middle English, from Medieval Latin odōriferus “smelling of (something),” equivalent to odōr- odor + -i- -i- + -ferus -ferous

OTHER WORDS FROM odoriferous


malodorous, odoriferous , odorous
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does odoriferous mean?

Odoriferous means having a strong smell.

Describing something as odoriferous doesn’t always mean it smells bad, but it usually does. The same thing goes for its close synonym odorous. Both are based on the word odor, meaning a smell.

Example: After gym class, the locker room turns into an odoriferous chamber of sweat and smelly socks.

Where does odoriferous come from?

The first records of odoriferous in English come from the 1400s. It comes from the Medieval Latin odōriferus and is composed of the root odor and the suffix -ferous, meaning “bearing or producing” (as seen in coniferous).

For much of its history, odoriferous was used to describe nicely smelling things, like flowers and spices. It has since come to be used in descriptions of any strong smell, but mostly ones that are very bad. Rotten eggs and skunk spray are infamously odoriferous, for example. Sometimes, the meaning is extended to describe something that one considers bad (much like saying that stinks to mean that’s terrible).

Odoriferous is typically used in the same way as the shorter (but less-fun-to-say) odorous. Both are sometimes confused with the adjective odious, which means “hateful,” “offensive,” or “disgusting” (though something that’s odoriferous could also be described as odious).

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What are some other forms related to odoriferous?

  • odoriferously (adverb)
  • odoriferousness (noun)
  • odoriferosity (noun)
  • nonodoriferous (adjective)
  • nonodoriferously (adverb)
  • nonodoriferousness (noun)
  • unodoriferous (adjective)
  • unodoriferously (adverb)
  • unodoriferousness (noun)

What are some synonyms for odoriferous?

What are some words that share a root or word element with odoriferous


What are some words that often get used in discussing odoriferous?


What are some words odoriferous may be commonly confused with?

How is odoriferous used in real life?

By definition, odoriferous just means “having a strong smell.” But it’s frequently used to describe something whose smell is strong and really bad.



Try using odoriferous!

Is odoriferous used correctly in the following sentence?

Please take out the trash before it becomes odoriferous.

How to use odoriferous in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for odoriferous

/ (ˌəʊdəˈrɪfərəs) /

having or emitting an odour, esp a fragrant one

Derived forms of odoriferous

odoriferously, adverbodoriferousness, noun
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