• olfactory
  • audio pronunciation
  • \ahl-FAK-tuh-ree\
  • DEFINITION

adjective

: of, relating to, or connected with the sense of smell
  • EXAMPLES

The aroma of cinnamon rolls coming from the kitchen served as an enticing olfactory clue that breakfast was almost ready.

"First things first, it has to be said that the place smells like an aromatic candle. Equal parts cedar, pine, campfire, and patchouli, with a dash of earthiness, Awendaw Green is an olfactory wonderland." — Kirsten Schofield, Charleston City Paper, August 19, 2014

  • DID YOU KNOW?

Olfactory derives from the past participle of the Latin olfacere, which means "to smell" and which was formed from the verb olēre (also "to smell") and facere ("to do"). Olfactory is a word that often appears in scientific contexts (as in "olfactory nerves," the nerves that pass from the nose to the brain and contain the receptors that make smelling possible), but it has occasionally branched out into less specialized contexts. The pleasant smell of spring flowers, for example, might be considered an "olfactory delight." A related word, olfaction, is a noun referring to the sense of smell or the act or process of smelling.

Test Your Vocabulary: Fill in the blanks to create a word that means "relating to or associated with the sense of taste": g _ s _ at _ _ y. The answer is …

  • MORE WORDS OF THE DAY

Visit our archives to see previous selections ยป

  • FEATURED ITEM FROM OUR STORE

An expressive t-shirt:

"Use Your Words"

Browse all items »

  • PODCAST

Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP

  • SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe to the Word of the Day e-mail

Manage Your Account