verb (used with object), smelled or smelt, smell·ing.
verb (used without object), smelled or smelt, smell·ing.
- smell a rat,
- smell fishy,
- smell to high heaven,
- smell up,
Origin of smell
Examples from the Web for smell
There is the smell here of an indecent rush for scapegoats, even before we know what really caused this crash.Annoying Airport Delays Might Prevent You From Becoming the Next AirAsia 8501|Clive Irving|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The smell of grilled meat mixes with the exotic wafts of cinnamon tea served with a mush of sweet brown dessert.The Photographer Who Gave Up Manhattan for Marrakech|Liza Foreman|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
“J.W. heard Hayden say softly, ‘You smell good,’” the papers report.
“They see the crowds, they smell the hot dogs,” said Dolan, playing out the metaphor.Pope Francis Wins a Battle to Welcome Gays in the Church|Barbie Latza Nadeau|October 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I could smell the patchouli oil he was wearing as well as the incense that was burning in the studio.When Gary Wright Met George Harrison: Dream Weaver, John and Yoko, and More|Gary Wright|September 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
So on and on the creek leads to new beauties of color and form, new delights for taste and smell.Some Summer Days in Iowa|Frederick John Lazell
Why did he linger behind when here was grass and water––surely water, for the smell of it was fresh and sweet.The Eye of Dread|Payne Erskine
The smell of the soil sweetened musty law books, deodorized the doctor's den, and floated as incense above the church altars.Chapters in Rural Progress|Kenyon L. Butterfield
I can tell by the hands, and the eyes, and the skin, and the smell.Dawn O'Hara, The Girl Who Laughed|Edna Ferber
Amid a smell of new-roasted coffee he sat at a table and watched people pass briskly through the ruddy sunlight.One Man's Initiation--1917|John Dos Passos
verb smells, smelling, smelt or smelled
Word Origin for smell
late 12c., "emit or perceive an odor," not found in Old English, perhaps cognate with Middle Dutch smolen, Low German smelen "to smolder" (see smolder). However, OED says "no doubt of Old English origin, but not recorded, and not represented in any of the cognate languages." Related: Smelled or smelt; smelling.
Smelling salts (1840), used to revive the woozy, typically were a scented preparation of carbonate of ammonia. Smell-feast (n.) "one who finds and frequents good tables, one who scents out where free food is to be had" is from 1510s ("very common" c.1540-1700, OED). Smell-smock "licentious man" was in use c.1550-c.1900. To smell a rat "be suspicious" is from 1540s.
In addition to the idioms beginning with smell
- smell a rat
- smell fishy
- smell to high heaven
- smell up
- come up (smelling like) roses
- stink (smell) to high heaven