[ noun pur-fyoom, per-fyoom; verb per-fyoom, pur-fyoom ]
See synonyms for: perfumeperfumedperfumingperfumy on

  1. a substance, extract, or preparation for diffusing or imparting an agreeable or attractive smell, especially a fluid containing fragrant natural oils extracted from flowers, woods, etc., or similar synthetic oils.

  2. the scent, odor, or volatile particles emitted by substances that smell agreeable.

verb (used with object),per·fumed, per·fum·ing.
  1. (of substances, flowers, etc.) to impart a pleasant fragrance to.

  2. to impregnate with a sweet odor; scent.

Origin of perfume

First recorded in 1525–35; earlier parfume (noun), from Middle French parfum, noun derivative of parfumer (verb), from obsolete Italian parfumare (modern profumare). See per-, fume

synonym study For perfume

2. Perfume, aroma, fragrance all refer to agreeable odors. Perfume often indicates a strong, rich smell, natural or manufactured: the perfume of flowers. Fragrance is usually applied to fresh, delicate, and delicious odors, especially from growing things: fragrance of new-mown hay. Aroma is restricted to a somewhat spicy smell: the aroma of coffee.

Other words for perfume

Opposites for perfume

Other words from perfume

  • per·fume·less, adjective
  • per·fum·y, adjective
  • un·per·fumed, adjective

Words Nearby perfume Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use perfume in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for perfume


  1. a mixture of alcohol and fragrant essential oils extracted from flowers, spices, etc, or made synthetically, used esp to impart a pleasant long-lasting scent to the body, stationery, etc: See also cologne, toilet water

  2. a scent or odour, esp a fragrant one

  1. (tr) to impart a perfume to

Origin of perfume

C16: from French parfum, probably from Old Provençal perfum, from perfumar to make scented, from per through (from Latin) + fumar to smoke, from Latin fumāre to smoke

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