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 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 Johnson said that there is a treatment process available now at dealerships to neutralize the odor coming from the headrests. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "Hyundai Says It Has a Fix for the Odor in Some 2020 Palisades," 16 Nov. 2020 If a dog’s breath suddenly takes on an unusual odor, search his mouth for any foreign objects or growths. Traci Howerton, NOLA.com, "If your dog has bad breath, it could be a sign that there's a bigger health problem," 10 Nov. 2020 In a 2006 study of swine and beef cattle operations, barnyard cresol was identified as the primary offensive odor, and could be detected as far as 10 miles downwind. Harold Mcgee, Wired, "The History of Poop Is Really the History of Technology," 6 Nov. 2020 And perhaps worst of all, coffee’s rich aroma has been replaced with the pungent odor of gasoline. Allyson Chiu, Anchorage Daily News, "When coffee smells like gasoline: COVID-19 isn’t just stealing senses — it may be warping them," 5 Nov. 2020 Officers detected an overwhelming odor of marijuana and soon located more than 1¾ pounds of the drug in the basement living room and main floor office. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "Charges: Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley threatened family with gun outside his home, pot stash found inside," 29 Oct. 2020 How much one sweats plus the makeup of one’s native bacteria contribute to body odor. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Wife uses Facebook dustup to limit husband’s time with his friend," 27 Oct. 2020 How much one sweats plus the makeup of one’s native bacteria contribute to body odor. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Facebook dustup affects the whole family," 27 Oct. 2020 Trouble is that just masks the odor by fooling your nose into smelling V8. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, "Striped skunks: these little stinkers also help keep pests under control around San Antonio homes and are sweet and docile," 27 Oct. 2020

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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Statistics for odor

Last Updated

20 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Odor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/odor. Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for odor

odor

noun
How to pronounce odor (audio)

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

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