odor

noun
\ ˈō-dər How to pronounce odor (audio) \

Definition of odor

1a : a quality of something that stimulates the olfactory organ : scent
b : a sensation resulting from adequate stimulation of the olfactory organ : smell
2a : a characteristic or predominant quality : flavor the odor of sanctity
b : repute, estimation in bad odor
3 archaic : something that emits a sweet or pleasing scent : perfume

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from odor

odored \ ˈō-​dərd How to pronounce odored (audio) \ adjective
odorless \ ˈō-​dər-​ləs How to pronounce odorless (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for odor

smell, scent, odor, aroma mean the quality that makes a thing perceptible to the olfactory sense. smell implies solely the sensation without suggestion of quality or character. an odd smell permeated the room scent applies to the characteristic smell given off by a substance, an animal, or a plant. the scent of lilacs odor may imply a stronger or more readily distinguished scent or it may be equivalent to smell. a cheese with a strong odor aroma suggests a somewhat penetrating usually pleasant odor. the aroma of freshly ground coffee

Examples of odor in a Sentence

The cheese has a strong odor. This deodorant prevents bad odor from occurring.

Recent Examples on the Web

One co-worker often has a strong, unpleasant body odor that permeates our space. Rob Walker, The Seattle Times, "When a co-worker is driving you crazy," 6 Aug. 2018 Mushrooms: Avoid mushrooms with a fishy odor, slimy exterior or noticeable discoloration. Jennifer Farley, charlotteobserver, "The produce aisle cheat sheet you shouldn't shop without | Charlotte Observer," 10 Apr. 2018 This separation helps keep odor to a minimum, especially because the solids tank uses peat moss or coconut COIR to help break it down. Megan Barber, Curbed, "RV toilets: 5 alternatives to a full bathroom in your camper," 9 Nov. 2018 More: Donerson said that the fire department responded and the smoke and odor had dissipated from the aircraft. Deasia Paige, Detroit Free Press, "Smoke diverts United Airlines flight to Detroit Metro Airport," 26 June 2018 The tablets are designed to remove the odor-causing residues and grime daily loads leave behind. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "Amazon Reviewers With Smelly Washing Machines Can't Stop Raving About Affresh Tablets," 7 Jan. 2019 Yeast infections can produce a thick, white, odor-free vaginal discharge with an appearance similar to cottage cheese. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "What Your Vaginal Discharge Might Be Trying to Tell You," 9 Aug. 2018 The odor of gas could still be smelled three hours after the explosion. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gas line explosion levels several buildings in Sun Prairie; several injured," 10 July 2018 The look and the odor of the gas tanks made the site unseemly to many American developers, but Italian construction firm Società Generale Immobiliare saw promise in the waterfront location. Rachel Kurzius, Curbed, "Watergate is a place, too," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'odor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of odor

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for odor

Middle English odour, borrowed from Anglo-French odur, borrowed from Latin odor (early Latin odōs), going back to *od-os-, s-stem derivative of a verbal base *od- (whence Latin oleō, olēre, also olō, olere "to give off a smell, smell (of)," from *odere), going back to Indo-European *h3ed-, whence Greek ózein "to smell, give off an odor," Armenian hot "smell, odor" (probably also an s-stem), Lithuanian úodžiu, úosti "to smell, sniff"

Note: The length in the Baltic form is attributed to Winter's Law, which is believed to lengthen vowels before an original voiced, unaspirated stop in Baltic and Slavic in certain environments.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about odor

Dictionary Entries near odor

Odontosyllis

Odontotormae

-odonty

odor

odorant

odorate

odori

Statistics for odor

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for odor

The first known use of odor was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for odor

odor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of odor

: a particular smell

odor

noun
\ ˈō-dər How to pronounce odor (audio) \

Kids Definition of odor

: a particular smell The odor of flowers filled my room. … the air was … thick with the smell of body odor.— Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising

Other Words from odor

odorless \ ˈō-​dər-​ləs \ adjective

odor

noun
variants: or chiefly British odour \ ˈōd-​ər How to pronounce odour (audio) \

Medical Definition of odor

1 : a quality of something that stimulates the olfactory organ : smell
2 : a sensation resulting from adequate chemical stimulation of the olfactory organ a disagreeable odor

Other Words from odor

odored or chiefly British odoured adjective
odorless or chiefly British odourless adjective

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on odor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with odor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for odor

Spanish Central: Translation of odor

Nglish: Translation of odor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of odor for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about odor

Comments on odor

What made you want to look up odor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

having no equal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!