fet·​id | \ ˈfe-təd, especially British ˈfē-tid\

Definition of fetid

: having a heavy offensive smell a fetid swamp

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Other Words from fetid

fetidly adverb
fetidness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for fetid

malodorous, stinking, fetid, noisome, putrid, rank, fusty, musty mean bad-smelling. malodorous may range from the unpleasant to the strongly offensive. malodorous fertilizers stinking and fetid suggest the foul or disgusting. prisoners were held in stinking cells the fetid odor of skunk cabbage noisome adds a suggestion of being harmful or unwholesome as well as offensive. a stagnant, noisome sewer putrid implies particularly the sickening odor of decaying organic matter. the putrid smell of rotting fish rank suggests a strong unpleasant smell. rank cigar smoke fusty and musty suggest lack of fresh air and sunlight, fusty also implying prolonged uncleanliness, musty stressing the effects of dampness, mildew, or age. a fusty attic the musty odor of a damp cellar

Examples of fetid in a Sentence

a fetid pool of water the fetid odor of rotting vegetables

Recent Examples on the Web

The James Creek Canal, which ran from South Capitol to the Anacostia, was a fetid feature. John Kelly, Washington Post, "There will be blood: Some District neighborhoods once sported memorable names," 19 June 2018 Whether Trump is really draining the Capitol swamp or merely pumping the fetid waters around to different places remains to be seen. Andrew Malcolm, SFChronicle.com, "Is Donald Trump chief executive or executive producer?," 28 June 2018 But 2101 Connecticut was an apartment building, something that reminded some potential customers of a fetid, light-starved tenement. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Cloud Atlases: What are those weird sculptures atop this Kalorama building?," 23 June 2018 The swamp has never been more foul or more fetid than under this president. Fox News, "Conway on Trump's pro-life agenda, North Korea and trade," 23 May 2018 Faucets are running dry and the lakes that once nurtured the southern city of Bangalore and its nearly 10 million residents are either parched or fetid with industrial waste and toxic effluents. Washington Post, "Water mismanagement leaves India’s Silicon Valley parched," 16 May 2018 Faucets are running dry and the lakes that once nurtured the southern city of Bangalore and its nearly 10 million residents are either parched or fetid with toxic effluents. Fox News, "Water mismanagement leaves India's Silicon Valley parched," 17 May 2018 Some of the toilets are out of order, so the patients urinate and defecate in black buckets next to their beds, the fetid smell wafting through the hallways. The Economist, "A crazy systemNobody spends enough on mental health," 26 Apr. 2018 Workers must sweep streets, clear fetid drain ditches and collect garbage in a crowded, dirty capital of about 5 million, with grossly inadequate sanitation and trash dumped on many corners. Sharif Hassan, Washington Post, "‘It shatters our spirits’: Deadly bomb attacks in Afghanistan leave street cleaners with a gruesome task," 6 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of fetid

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fetid

Middle English, from Latin foetidus, from foetēre to stink

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Time Traveler for fetid

The first known use of fetid was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of fetid

: having a strong, unpleasant smell


variants: also foetid \ ˈfet-​əd, esp British ˈfē-​tid \

Medical Definition of fetid

: having a heavy offensive smell

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More from Merriam-Webster on fetid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fetid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fetid

Spanish Central: Translation of fetid

Nglish: Translation of fetid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fetid for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fetid

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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