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 In 2009, after years of inaction, government agencies evacuated the bunkhouse, which had devolved into a fetid firetrap of neglect. Dan Barry, New York Times, "Willie Levi, 73, Dies; He Escaped a Life of Servitude," 30 Apr. 2020 Rank and fetid smells gave way to a world that valued pleasant and deodorized smells. Mark M. Smith, The Conversation, "Welcome to your sensory revolution, thanks to the pandemic," 27 Apr. 2020 En route to the Trojan War, Philoctetes had the misfortune of stepping on unmarked sacred ground and was punished for his unwitting transgression with a snakebite that left his foot ulcerated and fetid. Los Angeles Times, "Review: At the Getty Villa, Sophocles gets wounded in Aaron Posner’s revamp of ‘Philoctetes’," 6 Sep. 2019 In this fetid theory of elections, governments tend to represent a kind of dissatisfying average of voter opinion. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Low turnout and polarization are a deadly combo for electoral stability," 25 Jan. 2020 In the debris that had once been furniture and a roof were the vestiges of a holiday home: a cluster of flip-flops, a romance novel, a child’s ball floating in a plunge pool’s fetid waters. Kirk Semple, New York Times, "After a Caribbean Hurricane, the Battle Is Where, or Even Whether, to Rebuild," 7 Oct. 2019 Some residents for months have been forced to get water from shallow, unsafe wells and defecate in the open, while children pick their way across fetid yards. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Zimbabwe’s capital runs dry as taps cut off for 2M people," 24 Sep. 2019 Until further notice, and possibly until the end of time, the internet's authoritative appraisal of The Story of the Kelly Gang will feature one glistening red tomato and one fetid green splat. Simon Van Zuylen Wood, Wired, "Behind the Scenes at Rotten Tomatoes," 21 Jan. 2020 And from the fetid cauldron of lies and spin grew the wholly partisan Democratic impeachment of the president. John Kass, Twin Cities, "John Kass: Will Washington media expose the liars who spun the Trump-Russia hoax?," 26 Dec. 2019

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

8 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fetid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fetid. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for fetid


How to pronounce fetid (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on fetid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fetid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fetid

Spanish Central: Translation of fetid

Nglish: Translation of fetid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fetid for Arabic Speakers

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