fet·​id | \ ˈfe-təd How to pronounce fetid (audio) , 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 When that word was adopted as the color of environmental advocacy, there was a tacit acknowledgment of the two seemingly conflicting etymologies of green: the fresh and the fetid, springtime and sickness. Gillian Osborne, Harper's Magazine, 22 June 2021 That fishy stench of old seafood or the fetid smell of rotting meat are foul smells, to be sure. Rita Pelczar, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 June 2021 The Elizabeth might yet return to her former fetid glory—if all her species can get a chance to heal. Carrie Arnold, The Atlantic, 15 Mar. 2021 Others can’t identify the fetid smell that consistently assaults their senses. Allyson Chiu, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Nov. 2020 These methods — which admittedly are just a start — may be a poor match for what’s out there: a fetid, endlessly renewing Niagara Falls of lies and disinformation. Washington Post, 7 Jan. 2021 The massive pile of the fetid matter was already more than 65 metres (213 feet) tall at that time, taking up an area larger than 40 football pitches. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, 25 Nov. 2020 These fetid pools dotted the Anchorage townsite, and the standing water only encouraged the already overwhelming mosquito population. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Nov. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fetid

Last Updated

30 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fetid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fetid. Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for fetid



English Language Learners Definition of fetid

: having a strong, unpleasant smell


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

Medical Definition of fetid

: having a heavy offensive smell

More from Merriam-Webster on fetid

Nglish: Translation of fetid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fetid for Arabic Speakers


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