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

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Other Words from malodorous

malodorously adverb
malodorousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for malodorous



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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 Yet another put forward a strategy to combat the wine’s malodorous nature. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "What We’re Not Supposed to Say When We Talk About Wine," 5 May 2021 Dusty air fresheners gave the stagnant room the scent of malodorous imitation flowers. Timothy Mclaughlin, The Atlantic, "The Jarring Reality Hong Kong’s Dissidents See From Jail," 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, "Asian Bees Plaster Hives With Feces to Defend Against Hornet Attacks," 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, "Trump’s Motley Gang of Dead-Enders Are Circling the Drain," 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, "City garbage collection is finally getting the disruption it deserves," 30 Sep. 2020 Most homeowners prefer to plant a male, because mature female trees can be a malodorous mess. Beth Botts,, "An ode to the ginkgo, as its fleeting golden leaves arrive in the last show of summer," 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, "Virtually Celebrate Peak Bloom With Ten Fun Facts About Cherry Blossoms," 4 Mar. 2020 Because of this, the tunnel smells peculiar and fetid, like a malodorous cheese (think Stilton or Limburger) but with an earthy finish and notes of sweaty socks and horse manure. Madeline Ostrander, Smithsonian Magazine, "In a Tunnel Beneath Alaska, Scientists Race to Understand Disappearing Permafrost," 4 May 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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Last Updated

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Malodorous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of malodorous

formal : having a bad smell

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