perfume

noun
per·​fume | \ˈpər-ˌfyüm, (ˌ)pər-ˈfyüm \

Definition of perfume 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the scent of something sweet-smelling

2 : a substance that emits a pleasant odor especially : a fluid preparation of natural essences (as from plants or animals) or synthetics and a fixative used for scenting

perfume

verb
per·​fume | \(ˌ)pər-ˈfyüm, ˈpər-ˌfyüm\
perfumed; perfuming

Definition of perfume (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to fill or imbue with an odor

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Synonyms & Antonyms for perfume

Synonyms: Noun

aroma, attar (also otto), balm, bouquet, fragrance, fragrancy, incense, redolence, scent, spice

Synonyms: Verb

incense, odorize, scent

Antonyms: Noun

fetor, malodor, reek, stench, stink

Antonyms: Verb

stink up

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Choose the Right Synonym for perfume

Noun

fragrance, perfume, scent, redolence mean a sweet or pleasant odor. fragrance suggests the odors of flowers or other growing things. the fragrance of pine perfume may suggest a stronger or heavier odor. the perfume of lilacs scent is very close to perfume but of wider application because more neutral in connotation. scent-free soaps redolence implies a mixture of fragrant or pungent odors. the redolence of a forest after a rain

Examples of perfume in a Sentence

Noun

She smelled the different perfumes at the store. the perfume of fresh flowers filled the room

Verb

The meal included a delicate fish perfumed with butter and herbs. a time when it was common for men to perfume their hair
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Did the person wear perfume or a particular aftershave? Sallie Tisdale, Good Housekeeping, "Everything to Expect, Say, and Do When a Loved One Is About to Die," 13 June 2018 Some riders began spraying perfume and air fresheners to neutralize odors. Laura J. Nelson, latimes.com, "As waves of homeless descend onto trains, L.A. tries a new strategy: social workers on the subway," 6 Apr. 2018 Yes, my friends, Kim Kardashian literally used perfume as a form of social warfare, as if snake emojis and naked mannequins weren't salty enough. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Kim Kardashian's Explanation For Posting Her List of Haters Is Peak Kim Kardashian," 9 Mar. 2018 Here, Laura and Kate open up about gender, the feat of avoiding the flower-crown cliché, and a dream product extension: perfume. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Rodarte's Laura and Kate Mulleavy Talk Gender in Fashion, Floral Infatuations, and Their Dream Beauty Project," 14 Nov. 2018 The company’s biggest investor is JAB Holding Co., a European investment firm that has run Coty since buying the castoff perfume business from Pfizer Inc. Kimberly Chin, WSJ, "Coty Names New CEO and Searches for Fix to Slump," 12 Nov. 2018 Turin, who also happens to be one of the world’s leading perfume experts, was inspired by a vibrational theory of smell first proposed by chemist Malcolm Dyson in 1938. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 Princess Diana apparently had to tuck in the front of her gown due to a last-minute perfume spill that left a small stain on her wedding dress. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Why Sarah Ferguson Winked at Prince Andrew During Their Royal Wedding," 17 Aug. 2018 The British couple who were poisoned by Novichok had sprayed a container disguised as perfume that later broke in the man’s hands when they were contaminated with the military-grade nerve agent, a family member said. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "UK couple poisoned by Novichok were contaminated after handling perfume bottle that broke, family member says," 22 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After the singer posted a bunch of Legally Blonde–inspired teasers on social media, Reese Witherspoon—yes, Elle Woods herself—swooped in to give Grande her (probably well-perfumed) stamp of approval. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Reese Witherspoon Responded to Ariana Grande's Legally Blonde Post in the Most Elle Woods Way," 21 Nov. 2018 The ice cream in this perfect sandwich is impossibly airy, dissolving with immediacy in your mouth like a frozen, vanilla-perfumed breeze. Tejal Rao, New York Times, "The Best Frozen Treats, Ranked," 22 May 2018 Although questions of racial and gender identity and politics perfume the air, the best photography in the show touches lightly, if at all, on these subjects. Arthur Lubow, New York Times, "What’s New in Photography? Humanism, MoMA Says," 9 Mar. 2018 The scent of sage perfumed the air, and bursts of red foliage punctuated the gray-green grasslands. Beth J. Harpaz, chicagotribune.com, "Badlands and history in Theodore Roosevelt National Park," 5 July 2018 That baby slips and slides up and down Brooklyn, perfuming the whole borough with its overwhelming BDE. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "Which New York Subway Lines Have Big Dick Energy?," 26 June 2018 The buttery crust here, made in a food processor, is mixed with fresh basil, which perfumes the pastry. Jill Gibson, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipe: A buttery crust made with fresh basil holds goat cheese and sliced tomatoes," 11 June 2018 On this night, a little roasted red pepper ($3 each) came oozing velvety béchamel perfumed with minced jamon serrano (Spanish-style ham). James Patrick Kelly, idahostatesman, "Downtown Boise’s Txikiteo bolsters the list of locally owned Basque eateries," 30 May 2018 At other times Fausett goes by the book: lobster bisque, luxuriously smooth if somewhat wanting for shellfish; crab dip, gooey, turmeric tinged, and similarly crustacean poor; oysters Rockefeller, perfumed with Pernod. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "Fisk & Co. flexes its mussels," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perfume.' 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 perfume

Noun

circa 1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1546, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for perfume

Noun

Middle French perfum, probably from Old Occitan, from perfumar to perfume, from per- thoroughly (from Latin) + fumar to smoke, from Latin fumare, from fumus smoke — more at fume

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Statistics for perfume

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for perfume

The first known use of perfume was in 1546

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More Definitions for perfume

perfume

noun

English Language Learners Definition of perfume

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a liquid substance that you put on your body in small amounts in order to smell pleasant

: a pleasant smell

perfume

verb

English Language Learners Definition of perfume (Entry 2 of 2)

: to fill or cover (something) with a pleasant smell

: to put perfume in or on (something)

perfume

noun
per·​fume | \ˈpər-ˌfyüm \

Kids Definition of perfume

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a liquid used to make a person smell nice

2 : a pleasant smell : fragrance

perfume

verb
per·​fume | \pər-ˈfyüm \
perfumed; perfuming

Kids Definition of perfume (Entry 2 of 2)

: to add a usually pleasant odor to : have the odor of

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Comments on perfume

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