mal·​odor·​ous | \ ˌmal-ˈō-də-rəs How to pronounce malodorous (audio) \

Definition of malodorous

1 : having a bad odor a malodorous mixture of chemicals
2 : highly improper malodorous practices and chicanery in high financial placesNew Republic

Other Words from malodorous

malodorously adverb
malodorousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for malodorous



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Choose the Right Synonym for malodorous

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 malodorous in a Sentence

the cellar will need to be cleared of several malodorous, maggot-infested piles of garbage
Recent Examples on the Web Several days into her quarantine period, Ms. Moore took a whiff of Dumbo’s typically malodorous food. New York Times, 17 May 2021 Yet another put forward a strategy to combat the wine’s malodorous nature. Lettie Teague, WSJ, 5 May 2021 Dusty air fresheners gave the stagnant room the scent of malodorous imitation flowers. Timothy Mclaughlin, The Atlantic, 29 Apr. 2021 Per the Times, researchers aren’t totally sure about the active ingredient of the bees’ malodorous home decor in terms of wasp repellent. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Dec. 2020 Collectively, their actions are engendering malodorous spirit of illiberalism in the public that will not be easily exorcised. Jason Linkins, The New Republic, 20 Nov. 2020 Trash cans are a ubiquitous, and malodorous, fact of urban life, but a few dozen cities around the world are experimenting with eliminating them. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, 30 Sep. 2020 Most homeowners prefer to plant a male, because mature female trees can be a malodorous mess. Beth Botts,, 27 Sep. 2020 The United States Army Corps of Engineers spent three decades transforming the low-lying (and malodorous) area known as Potomac Flats into Potomac Park. Lily Katzman, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'malodorous.' 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 malodorous

1850, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of malodorous was in 1850

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Cite this Entry

“Malodorous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of malodorous

: having a bad smell

More from Merriam-Webster on malodorous

Nglish: Translation of malodorous for Spanish Speakers


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