olfactory

play
adjective ol·fac·to·ry \äl-ˈfak-t(ə-)rē, ōl-\

Definition of olfactory

  1. :  of or relating to the sense of smell olfactory receptors olfactory sensations

olfactorily

play \äl-ˈfak-t(ə-)rə-lē, ōl-\ adverb

olfactory was our Word of the Day on 09/17/2014. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of olfactory from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Olfactory derives from the past participle of the Latin olfacere, which means "to smell" and which was formed from the verb olēre (also "to smell") and facere ("to do"). Olfactory is a word that often appears in scientific contexts (as in "olfactory nerves," the nerves that pass from the nose to the brain and contain the receptors that make smelling possible), but it has occasionally branched out into less specialized contexts. The pleasant smell of spring flowers, for example, might be considered an "olfactory delight." A related word, olfaction, is a noun referring to the sense of smell or the act or process of smelling.

Origin and Etymology of olfactory

Latin olfactorius, from olfacere to smell, from olēre to smell + facere to do — more at odor, do


First Known Use: circa 1658


OLFACTORY Defined for English Language Learners

olfactory

play
adjective

Definition of olfactory for English Language Learners

  • : of, relating to, or connected with the sense of smell


OLFACTORY Defined for Kids

olfactory

play
adjective ol·fac·to·ry \äl-ˈfak-tə-rē, ōl-\

Definition of olfactory for Students

  1. :  of or relating to smelling or the sense of smell olfactory nerves


Medical Dictionary

olfactory

play play
adjective ol·fac·to·ry \äl-ˈfak-t(ə-)rē, ōl-\

Medical Definition of olfactory

  1. :  of, relating to, or connected with the sense of smell



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