aro·​ma ə-ˈrō-mə How to pronounce aroma (audio)
: a distinctive, pervasive, and usually pleasant or savory smell
the aroma of freshly-baked bread
broadly : odor
: the odor of a wine imparted by the grapes from which it is made
The wine has a fruity aroma.
: a distinctive quality or atmosphere : flavor
the sweet aroma of success
Choose the Right Synonym for aroma

smell, scent, odor, aroma mean the quality that makes a thing perceptible to the olfactory sense.

smell implies solely the sensation without suggestion of quality or character.

an odd smell permeated the room

scent applies to the characteristic smell given off by a substance, an animal, or a plant.

the scent of lilacs

odor may imply a stronger or more readily distinguished scent or it may be equivalent to smell.

a cheese with a strong odor

aroma suggests a somewhat penetrating usually pleasant odor.

the aroma of freshly ground coffee

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web During taste tests, the crew will rate the flavor, aroma, juiciness and texture of the tomatoes grown using the two different light treatments. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 22 Nov. 2022 Every aroma combined with changes in movements and music, so the narrative could be felt visually, auditorily and olfactorily. Steven Vargas, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2022 Warming, with peppery-clove notes, nutmeg has a sweet, earthy aroma. Nico Avalle, Bon Appétit, 13 Nov. 2022 On the Lees Although the process sounds highly unattractive, aging on the lees heightens many of the pleasant characters in wine’s aroma, flavor and texture. Mike Desimone And Jeff Jenssen, Robb Report, 9 Nov. 2022 First comes the heady aroma of caramelizing meat, followed by the smoke of charring fat. Time, 9 Nov. 2022 But as the top notes begin to fade, a masculine, woody aroma of rosemary, sweet persimmon and warm patchouli envelops you. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Nov. 2022 Espresso, steamed milk, chestnut praline syrup, whipped cream and praline toppings give this drink a nutty, earthy aroma with a buttery taste with a hint of oatmeal. Bahar Anooshahr, The Arizona Republic, 3 Nov. 2022 Others boast full foliage and a pleasant citrus aroma (a.k.a the white fir). Mariah Thomas, Good Housekeeping, 26 Oct. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aroma.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English aromat "fragrant substance, as a spice or ointment," borrowed from Anglo-French aromat, aromant "balm," borrowed from Latin arōmat-, arōma "fragrant substance, spice," borrowed from Greek arōmat-, árōma, of obscure origin

First Known Use

1788, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of aroma was in 1788

Dictionary Entries Near aroma

Cite this Entry

“Aroma.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



aro·​ma ə-ˈrō-mə How to pronounce aroma (audio)
: a noticeable and usually pleasant smell
the aroma of coffee

More from Merriam-Webster on aroma

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