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


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for perfume

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for perfume


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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Blockchain could also be useful beyond fashion, says Ott: luxury sectors including art, cosmetics, perfume and furniture could benefit. Rebecca Cairns, CNN, 26 June 2022 Not for her the old standards — flowers, perfume, perhaps a new television. New York Times, 22 June 2022 Acqua di Parma, the famed 106-year-old Italian luxury cologne and perfume has partnered with forte_forte, an Italian women’s fashion brand found in the Italian region of Veneto, to create a special edition capsule collection. Allyson Portee, Forbes, 22 June 2022 Make sure there’s no deodorant, lotion, perfume, or makeup on the skin. Jailynn Taylor, Essence, 3 June 2022 The gender-neutral coconut scent is subtle and won’t override cologne or perfume. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 May 2022 Her lingerie, perfume, and jewelry were also missing. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, 2 May 2022 Fragrance Attention fragrance fanatics: Farfetch’s perfume and cologne assortment is good too. Kiana Murden, Vogue, 28 Apr. 2022 Just like with soaps, avoid lotions that contain perfume, dye, or other potentially irritating ingredients. Stephanie Watson, SELF, 26 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Roses climb up old stone walls, brighten small squares and even perfume the Roland Garros stadium, where the French Open tennis tournament is held. Mary Winston Nicklin, Washington Post, 17 June 2022 Begin by sautéeing it with your aromatics at the start of cooking, add it midway to perfume the entire stew or braise, or do both. Rachel Gurjar, Bon Appétit, 16 May 2022 The sweet-smelling white blooms on the Graceful Gardenia ($39.99-$49.99) perfume a room. cleveland, 6 May 2022 The stench wafting from the tree's billows of white blossoms has been compared to perfume gone wrong, rotting fish, chlorine, and a cheese sandwich left in a car for a week. CBS News, 22 Apr. 2022 This version is lovely, with floral cardamom to perfume it. Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2022 Soon lilacs and viburnums will perfume outdoor air. Courtney Lichterman, WSJ, 24 Mar. 2022 Retailers like Etsy, Michaels and Overstock carry a variety of display cases for everything from shot glasses and trading cards to perfume bottles and matchbooks in materials that include wood, acrylic and glass. San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Nov. 2021 Airlines, department stores, hotels, and taxicabs perfume their air. Scott Sayare, Harper's Magazine, 23 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of perfume


circa 1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1546, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for perfume


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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Time Traveler for perfume

Time Traveler

The first known use of perfume was in 1546

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Dictionary Entries Near perfume



perfumed cherry

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Statistics for perfume

Last Updated

6 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Perfume.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for perfume


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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on perfume

Nglish: Translation of perfume for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of perfume for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about perfume


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