fe·​tor ˈfē-tər How to pronounce fetor (audio)
: a strong offensive smell : stench

Examples of fetor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The musty aroma didn’t supplant the fetor of failure and futility that hung in the air and along the corridors, like inert gases or the ghosts of the League of Nations. Alejandro Varela, Harper's magazine, 16 Sep. 2019 The fetor was historic, and writers pulled out the literary stops. Alexandra Mullen, WSJ, 11 Aug. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fetor.' 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 fetoure, from Latin foetor, from foetēre

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fetor was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near fetor

Cite this Entry

“Fetor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fetor. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition


variants also foetor
: a strong offensive smell

More from Merriam-Webster on fetor

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