[ sent ]
See synonyms for: scentscentedscentsscentless on

  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.

  1. a track or trail as or as if indicated by such an odor: The dogs lost the scent and the prisoner escaped.

  2. the sense of smell: a remarkably keen scent.

  3. 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.

  2. to fill with an odor; perfume.

verb (used without object)
  1. to hunt by the sense of smell, as a hound.

Origin of scent

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 Cf. sense

synonym study For scent

1. See odor.

Other words for scent

Other words from scent

  • scentless, adjective
  • scent·less·ness, noun
  • non·scent·ed, adjective
  • outscent, verb (used with object)
  • o·ver·scent·ed, adjective
  • un·scent·ed, adjective
  • well-scented, adjective

Words that may be confused with scent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use scent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for scent


/ (sɛnt) /

  1. a distinctive smell, esp a pleasant one

  2. a smell left in passing, by which a person or animal may be traced

  1. a trail, clue, or guide

  2. an instinctive ability for finding out or detecting

  3. 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

  1. (tr) to fill with odour or fragrance

  2. (intr) (of hounds, etc) to hunt by the sense of smell

  3. to smell (at): the dog scented the air

Origin of scent

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

Derived forms of scent

  • scented, adjective
  • scentless, adjective
  • scentlessness, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with scent


see throw off, def. 3.

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