perfume

noun
per·​fume | \ ˈpər-ˌfyüm How to pronounce perfume (audio) , (ˌ)pər-ˈfyüm How to pronounce perfume (audio) \

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 How to pronounce perfume (audio) , 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

Love in White for Summer was inspired by Creed’s powdery and floral Love in White perfume, but with additional hints of citrus and wood. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "The Perfect Perfume for Your Summer Wedding," 14 June 2018 As her previous teasers would suggest, the perfume is centered on all things sky. Karina Hoshikawa, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Announced the Release of Her Cloud Perfume," 18 Sep. 2018 Add decorative trays to display perfume bottles, compacts, flower arrangements, tortoiseshell combs, and candles. Heather Corcoran, ELLE Decor, "How to Bring Old Hollywood Into Your Home," 19 Mar. 2019 That sentiment is perhaps nowhere more visible than in the haikus, penned by Clara herself, that are engraved in fine gold lettering on the back of each bottle (and from which perfumes like My Love Has The Color of the Night derive their name). Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "These New Japan-Inspired Perfumes Come in the World's Chicest Bento Box," 3 May 2018 From perfumes to hair products, the Crystal Collection has something for every beauty need, and might even have a healing effect for some people. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Everything in This New Beauty Collection Is Infused With Crystals," 9 Apr. 2018 Those who wish to branch out from traditional perfumes can find other ways to experiment with the floral, too. New York Times, "Light, Jasmine Scents That Are Perfect for Spring," 9 Apr. 2018 The Chanel designer mastered the art of offering luxury fashions alongside attainable items like perfume and makeup. Andrea Felsted, The Seattle Times, "Karl Lagerfeld’s legacy is more than just Chanel suits," 19 Feb. 2019 Her husband David currently has 30 perfumes and colognes under his eponymous fragrance label. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Victoria Beckham Is Launching Victoria Beckham Beauty This Fall," 13 Feb. 2019

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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Learn More about perfume

Statistics for perfume

Last Updated

21 May 2019

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)

literary : to fill or cover (something) with a pleasant smell
somewhat formal : to put perfume in or on (something)

perfume

noun
per·​fume | \ ˈpər-ˌfyüm How to pronounce perfume (audio) \

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 How to pronounce perfume (audio) \
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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