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

Mirium Helsinki In a scheme reminiscent of the pulp classic , a Finnish advertising agency is using perspiration from its employees as raw material for a new perfume. Anne Quito, Quartz at Work, "A Finnish company is giving potential recruits perfume made from employees’ sweat," 23 Aug. 2019 Customers pick up a perfume and a touch screen lights up with information about the scent and customer reviews. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, "Stores are starting to feel a lot more like the internet," 15 Aug. 2019 Raise a spoonful of tom kha kai, a traditional Laotian coconut chicken soup, to your lips, and a tantalizing perfume of lemongrass, lime, and galangal wafts upward. Ewen Bell, National Geographic, "Discover why Laos is the world’s next great foodie destination," 10 July 2019 Its once-squalid floors and tiled walls now gleam, and a perfume of disinfectant wafts through the corridors. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Needles on wane in BART trains and stations, another sign of fentanyl’s rise," 7 July 2019 The scent of the street— wind and smoke and baked bread—lingered like a perfume on his coat. David Canfield, EW.com, "First look: Marie Lu turns to historical fiction in brand-new YA fantasy The Kingdom of Back," 28 June 2019 His project with the Louvre has taken some 12 months to come to fruition, eight of which were spent figuring out how his team could legally sell a perfume or a candle inspired by a work of art. Grace Cook, WSJ, "Now You Can Smell Like The Louvre," 27 June 2019 But a perfume can connect you to the spirit of the work in the same way as a limited-edition poster or a book. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "A New Series of Art World Perfumes Is Challenging What It Means to Smell Good," 24 May 2019 What’s special about this new Vince Camuto perfume? Shalwah Evans, Essence, "Jasmine Sanders Is The Face Of Vince Camuto's New Fragrance," 7 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Two heaping cups of basil, which will wilt and perfume the whole pot. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, "This Summer Bolognese Is Fresher, Faster, and Just as Good as the Classic," 30 July 2019 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

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

27 Aug 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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