- a preparation for smelling, essentially of ammonium carbonate with some agreeable scent, used as a stimulant and restorative.
Origin of smelling salts
First recorded in 1830–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for smelling salts
Bracondale said, turning to them just as Miss Oliver returned with the bottle of smelling-salts.The White Lie
William Le Queux
She leant back and fanned herself, taking out her smelling-salts.The Twelfth Hour
Grace vanished again, and was back in two minutes with water and smelling-salts.Peggy
Laura E. Richards
A woman has no right to have any emotions that cannot be cured by smelling-salts!The Sorrows of Satan
He took a bottle of smelling-salts from the mantelpiece and smelt it.The Revolution in Tanner's Lane
- a pungent preparation containing crystals of ammonium carbonate that has a stimulant action when sniffed in cases of faintness, headache, etc
- Any of various preparations of ammonium carbonate and perfume, sniffed as a restorative or stimulant especially to relieve faintness and headache.