red·​o·​lent ˈre-də-lənt How to pronounce redolent (audio)
: exuding fragrance : aromatic
: full of a specified fragrance : scented
air redolent of seaweed
: evocative, suggestive
a city redolent of antiquity
redolently adverb

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Redolent traces back to the Latin verb olēre ("to smell") and is a relative of olfactory ("of, relating to, or connected with the sense of smell"). In its earliest English uses in the 15th century, redolent simply meant "having an aroma." Today, it usually applies to a place or thing permeated with odors. Scent and memory are famously linked, and an extended use of redolent to mean “evocative” or “suggestive” links them again, as in “lollipops redolent of childhood.”

Choose the Right Synonym for redolent

odorous, fragrant, redolent, aromatic mean emitting and diffusing scent.

odorous applies to whatever has a strong distinctive smell whether pleasant or unpleasant.

odorous cheeses should be tightly wrapped

fragrant applies to things (such as flowers or spices) with sweet or agreeable odors.

a fragrant rose

redolent applies usually to a place or thing impregnated with odors.

the kitchen was redolent of garlic and tomatoes

aromatic applies to things emitting pungent often fresh odors.

an aromatic blend of tobaccos

Examples of redolent in a Sentence

my grandmother's house always seemed to be redolent with the aroma of baking bread
Recent Examples on the Web This final flourish was redolent of the comic persona that Navalny displayed during court appearances from his prison cell in the final months of his life. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 1 Mar. 2024 Breezy mornings are ideal for privacy before the heat mounts and the baths heave with people; redolent of a carefree summer camp. Alia Akkam, Condé Nast Traveler, 14 Mar. 2024 When the restaurant opened in 1977, Leah was determined to introduce fine comfort food, redolent with spices and fresh flavors, to the Orthodox Jewish community. Ethel G. Hofman, Sun Sentinel, 17 Jan. 2024 The result is a tender, squidgy bar streaked with raspberry and crowned with a crunchy golden streusel redolent with nuts, which also happens to be gluten-free. Lynda Balslev, The Mercury News, 22 Jan. 2024 Bénédictine: One of the greatest liqueurs ever invented, Bénédictine is an 80 proof, honey-sweet liqueur redolent of herbs and baking spices. Jason O'Bryan, Robb Report, 13 Jan. 2024 The dark interior, redolent of heady and rich tobacco mixtures, had its own quirks. Jacques Kelly, Baltimore Sun, 11 Jan. 2024 This shutdown is the pure product of the modern GOP, packed with antisocial weirdos and redolent of their inability to govern themselves or anyone else. Jason Linkins, The New Republic, 4 Nov. 2023 The sun has just set over the tranquil Santa Barbara campus of the University of California, and the crisp evening air is redolent of warm sand and eucalyptus. Karen Wright, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'redolent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin redolent-, redolens, present participle of redolēre to emit a scent, from re-, red- + olēre to smell — more at odor

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of redolent was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near redolent

Cite this Entry

“Redolent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


red·​o·​lent ˈred-ᵊl-ənt How to pronounce redolent (audio)
: full of a fragrance or odor : scented
a room redolent of cooked cabbage

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