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

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Other Words from odor

odored \ ˈō-​dərd How to pronounce odor (audio) \ adjective
odorless \ ˈō-​dər-​ləs How to pronounce odor (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 What causes things to have a particular odor — a volatile organic compound — is the pattern in which those organic chemicals land upon receptors in the nose, said Dr. Andrew Goldberg, director of rhinology and sinus surgery at UCSF. Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 June 2021 The odor of melcochas (handmade candy) when my grandma poured them, boiling, on a big river stone in Boyacá, Colombia. New York Times, 18 Nov. 2020 According to a police report, the arresting officer detected an odor of alcohol on Brownson’s breath and noted that her eyes appeared bloodshot. Paulina Dedaj, Fox News, 9 June 2021 Officers detected an overwhelming odor of marijuana and soon located more than 1 ¾ pounds of the drug in the house. Chris Hine, Star Tribune, 25 Feb. 2021 The eucalyptus fibers used to make Giesswein’s Wood Sneaker can hold and wick away more 50% moisture than cotton, and prevent odor-causing bacteria from setting in. Julie Loffredi, Forbes, 23 June 2021 For example, some food wastes will create an odor that may attract pests. Rita Pelczar, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 June 2021 When asked about the odor, the driver admitted to smoking earlier. John Benson, cleveland, 16 June 2021 But on June 30, 2020, contractors working on a fence came upon a horrific odor in the same area. Chris Kilmer, ABC News, 11 June 2021

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.

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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.

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Time Traveler for odor

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near odor

-odonty

odor

odorant

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Statistics for odor

Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Odor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/odor. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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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 odor (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

More from Merriam-Webster on odor

Nglish: Translation of odor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of odor for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about odor

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