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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Clues are introduced with stinging details, such as the citrus trace of the former mother's perfume, lingering after a surreptitious visit. John Domini, Dallas News, "An Italian teenager meets the family she didn't know existed in 'A Girl Returned'," 1 July 2019 Inglenook sells handmade perfumes, soap, body balms and beeswax candles. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Inglenook, a new store in Menomonee Falls, sells homemade products and plays vinyl records," 12 June 2019 The makeup mogul has truly already done it all, releasing a skincare line, working on a perfume, and planning a possible line of haircare products to boot. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner and Khloé Kardashian Announced Their Third Koko Makeup Kollection," 8 June 2019 Here, 6 timeless perfumes that are quintessentially French. Catherine Piercy, Vogue, "The Best Classic French Perfumes of All Time," 29 Apr. 2019 Every year more than 200,000 people visit Oregon’s enormous Sea Lion Caves on the coast to press against a heavy screen in darkness and watch a large colony of the animals, drinking in the humid perfume of sea lion and sea. Sallie Tisdale, Harper's magazine, "Catechism of the Waters," 10 June 2019 Morisot, in particular, was perfecting a visual language as intimate and evanescent as perfume in the 1870s. Washington Post, "Édouard Manet spent his final days in excruciating pain — and creating his most thrilling art," 7 June 2019 His mother, Madeleine, designed the gardens which today celebrate the fragrances of Dior’s perfumes. David Nash, House Beautiful, "People Paid More Than $300,000 to Tour Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior's Family Homes," 4 June 2019 The maker of fine perfumes beloved by icons such as Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Ernest Hemingway, and Cary Grant—not to mention both John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy Onassis—Krigler has a long heritage of crafting luxury scents. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "A Heritage Fragrance House Finds a New Home in Tony Palm Beach," 6 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The night blooming jasmine will perfume the patio and penetrate the house. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, "Fall tomato season is almost here," 12 July 2019 At once crispy and yielding and chewy, it was shot through with toasty walnuts and perfumed with anise seeds. Amiel Stanek, Bon Appétit, "Venezuelan Sticky Buns > Regular Sticky Buns, Always and Forever," 13 June 2019 India made them the star of many dishes, adding bright chiles and spices to perfume their starchy flesh. Emily Spicer, ExpressNews.com, "Give your potato salad a global upgrade this cookout season," 4 June 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about perfume

Statistics for perfume

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for perfume

The first known use of perfume was in 1546

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on perfume

What made you want to look up perfume? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

having no luck

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!