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

Examples of aroma in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Crushed rose petal aromas, plummy fruit and notes of spice. Elin McCoy, Fortune Europe, 11 May 2024 The result: a bold floral aroma (iris helps amp up its powdery vibe) that's balanced by the sweetness of a hint of pear. Jackie Fields, Peoplemag, 9 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for aroma 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aroma.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 24 May. 2024.

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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