View synonyms for scent


[ sent ]


  1. a distinctive odor, especially when agreeable:

    the scent of roses.

  2. an odor left in passing, by means of which an animal or person may be traced.
  3. a track or trail as or as if indicated by such an odor:

    The dogs lost the scent and the prisoner escaped.

  4. the sense of smell:

    a remarkably keen scent.

  5. small pieces of paper dropped by the hares in the game of hare and hounds.

verb (used with object)

  1. to perceive or recognize by or as if by the sense of smell:

    to scent trouble.

    Synonyms: sniff, smell

  2. to fill with an odor; perfume.

verb (used without object)

  1. to hunt by the sense of smell, as a hound.


/ sɛnt /


  1. a distinctive smell, esp a pleasant one
  2. a smell left in passing, by which a person or animal may be traced
  3. a trail, clue, or guide
  4. an instinctive ability for finding out or detecting
  5. another word (esp Brit) for perfume


  1. tr to recognize or be aware of by or as if by the smell
  2. tr to have a suspicion of; detect

    I scent foul play

  3. tr to fill with odour or fragrance
  4. intr (of hounds, etc) to hunt by the sense of smell
  5. to smell (at)

    the dog scented the air

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Derived Forms

  • ˈscentlessness, noun
  • ˈscentless, adjective
  • ˈscented, adjective

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Other Words From

  • scentless adjective
  • scentless·ness noun
  • non·scented adjective
  • outscent verb (used with object)
  • over·scented adjective
  • un·scented adjective
  • well-scented adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of scent1

First recorded in 1325–75; (verb) earlier sent, Middle English senten, from Middle French sentir “to smell,” from Latin sentīre, “to feel”; (noun) Middle English, derivative of the verb sense

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Word History and Origins

Origin of scent1

C14: from Old French sentir to sense, from Latin sentīre to feel; see sense

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Idioms and Phrases

see throw off , def. 3.

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Synonym Study

See odor.

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Example Sentences

This Portland company offers a variety of scents, but get the vanilla sugar if you want to smell like a super-refreshed cupcake.

From Ozy

The finding, described August 12 in Nature, could inform new ways of controlling or preventing locust swarms, potentially by attracting the insects with their own scents.

If we can understand how the brain processes individual scents as electrical information, it might be possible to reverse-engineer the smell of bubbling lasagna and deliver it straight to your brain.

After 10 minutes, the researchers gave each bee the same lemony scent followed by sugar water.

They are snaking back and forth in search of the scent that will get them their ball.

Selling off the extras, I saw my neighbor marvel at the scent and murmur that he wished he could afford one.

He even claims that hen partridges conceive just by smelling the scent of males.

This is not the boisterous version of Pacino, the one we saw as Tony Montana in Scarface or as Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman.

A local perfume maker even produced a special scent for men and women named after the rocket, M75.

Behind the counter is the pit, perfuming the room (and your clothes) with the swirling, come-hither scent of beef and smoke.

But such refuge, he knew, could avail him nothing if the bear should scent him out and search for him.

He did not know what the scent was, but it smelled rich and artificial, and he disliked to associate it with his new friend.

Her expression was still petrified, except that she might have had the scent of blood in her slightly dilating nostrils.

From the garden there rose to her nostrils the delicate scent of some hidden flower that gave its best gift to the darkness.

I might have put him on a false scent, just as cleverly and unsuspiciously as I dare say he could put me; but I've not done it.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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