Definition of olfactory
: of or relating to the sense of smell olfactory receptors olfactory sensations
olfactorilyplay \äl-ˈfak-t(ə-)rə-lē, ōl-\ adverb
olfactory was our Word of the Day on 09/17/2014. Hear the podcast!
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.
OLFACTORY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of olfactory for English Language Learners
: of, relating to, or connected with the sense of smell
OLFACTORY Defined for Kids
Definition of olfactory for Students
: of or relating to smelling or the sense of smell olfactory nerves
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