scent

noun
\ ˈsent How to pronounce scent (audio) \

Definition of scent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : effluvia from a substance that affect the sense of smell: such as
a : an odor left by an animal on a surface passed over
b : a characteristic or particular odor especially : one that is agreeable
2a : power of smelling : sense of smell a keen scent
b : power of detection : nose a scent for heresy
3 : a course of pursuit or discovery throw one off the scent
4 : inkling, intimation a scent of trouble
6 : bits of paper dropped in the game of hare and hounds
7 : a mixture prepared for use as a lure in hunting or fishing

scent

verb
scented; scenting; scents

Definition of scent (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to perceive by the olfactory organs : smell
b : to get or have an inkling of scent trouble
2 : to imbue or fill with odor scented the air with perfume

intransitive verb

1 : to yield an odor of some specified kind this scents of sulfur also : to bear indication or suggestions
2 : to use the nose in seeking or tracking prey

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Other Words from scent

Noun

scentless \ ˈsent-​ləs How to pronounce scentless (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for scent

Synonyms: Noun

aroma, attar (also otto), balm, bouquet, fragrance, fragrancy, incense, perfume, redolence, spice

Synonyms: Verb

incense, odorize, perfume

Antonyms: Noun

fetor, malodor, reek, stench, stink

Antonyms: Verb

stink up

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Choose the Right Synonym for scent

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

smell, scent, odor, aroma mean the quality that makes a thing perceptible to the olfactory sense. smell implies solely the sensation without suggestion of quality or character. an odd smell permeated the room scent applies to the characteristic smell given off by a substance, an animal, or a plant. the scent of lilacs odor may imply a stronger or more readily distinguished scent or it may be equivalent to smell. a cheese with a strong odor aroma suggests a somewhat penetrating usually pleasant odor. the aroma of freshly ground coffee

Examples of scent in a Sentence

Noun

The flower has a wonderful scent. The dogs followed the fox's scent. The prisoner escaped because the dogs lost his scent.

Verb

The dog scented a rabbit. She scented the air with perfume.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Today, customers can hand-select their favorite can and choose from 13 scents for a custom candle. Birmingham Magazine, al.com, "These beer can candles are your new favorite gift idea," 19 June 2019 The lavender, strawberry ice cream and Hawaii scents have proven to be quite popular among the Jacksonville players. Chuck Schilken, latimes.com, "Morning briefing: Myles Jack has a new side hustle, and it's lit," 18 June 2019 Lilac bushes mingle scents with a 30-foot climbing rose trained over an arch. Quanta Magazine, "Victoria Meadows’ Earthly Visions of Alien Life," 16 June 2019 Some have taken to stuffing laundry dryer sheets in their clothing, saying the scent fends off the bugs. Kris Maher, WSJ, "The Black Fly Is Here for Your Blood—and Dignity," 16 June 2019 If your dog is a beginner or not very scent oriented, keep it simple by hiding the treats low. Samantha Lundquist, The Mercury News, "Critter Corner: Keep dogs active when it’s hot out," 14 June 2019 There are also scent glands in the foot, though Dodman thinks that this isn’t a major part of the marking process. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "Here’s why cats hate belly rubs so much," 11 June 2019 Turns out Skinner can dispense 11 different scents electronically into the air, too. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Outside Houston, a chef with a flair for the avant-garde serves up three hours of sorcery," 11 June 2019 Rucker used the turtles’ scent to train his other dogs, and now travels the country in a van with his band of Boykins to help researchers in need. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Very Good Dogs Helped Track Threatened Turtles in Iowa," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The store was as overlit and Clorox-scented as any suburban supermarket, but the near-total absence of women pushing carts lent an almost science-fictional vibe. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Cruising in the Age of Consent," 19 June 2019 The thrill ride, operating within the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, includes encounters with animatronic beings (some scented). Orlando Sentinel Podcasts, orlandosentinel.com, "PODCAST: Explore magic of Universal’s Harry Potter with jaunt inside Forbidden Forest on Hagrid’s coaster (Ep. 2)," 12 June 2019 Many are scented, and all are thought to repel mosquitoes. Nicole Clausing, Sunset, "Got Allergies? These 10 Low-Pollen Plants Won’t Make You Sneeze," 22 Jan. 2018 Aside from formulating its products to be pleasantly scented, C&C also has some cool, next-gen products that are so 2018. Sophie Wirt, Allure, "Clear & Clear Quietly Launches C&C, Its New Millennial-Targeted Skin-Care Line," 21 July 2018 There are shoes everywhere, boots and stilettos and platforms in all shades of nude (this season’s theme); plus neon lights and scented votives to give everything a soft fluorescence. Alex Frank, Vogue, "Kendall Jenner On Loving Ugly Sneakers, Hating Boho Style, and the Fashion Secrets She Learned From Her Mom," 13 Feb. 2019 The rest of us generally need a little more help, usually in the form of prescription pharmaceuticals, 1-2 miniature bottles of cheap chardonnay, or a swath of thick cashmere and something lavender scented. Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Travel Kits that Will Actually Help You Sleep on a Plane," 22 Mar. 2018 The seafoam green body oil gives skin a dewy radiance and is lightly scented with jasmine sambac from India and French sea kelp. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "These Mermaid-Inspired Products Want to Be a Part of Your World," 11 June 2018 Known as the Alchemist’s Garden, Gucci’s striking new 15-piece collection includes perfumed oils, eaux de parfum, and one XXL scented candle—all of which made their debut yesterday exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Meet the Striking New Gucci Perfumes Plucked From Alessandro Michele’s Madcap Mind," 8 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scent.' 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 scent

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for scent

Noun

Middle English sent, from Anglo-French sente, from sentir

Verb

Middle English senten, from Anglo-French sentir to feel, smell, from Latin sentire to perceive, feel — more at sense

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Learn More about scent

Statistics for scent

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scent

The first known use of scent was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for scent

scent

noun

English Language Learners Definition of scent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a pleasant smell that is produced by something
: a smell that is left by an animal or person and that can be sensed and followed by some animals (such as dogs)
: a slight indication of something that is going to happen or that might happen

scent

verb

English Language Learners Definition of scent (Entry 2 of 2)

: to become aware of (something) by smell
: to give (something) a pleasing smell

scent

noun
\ ˈsent How to pronounce scent (audio) \

Kids Definition of scent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an odor that is given off by someone or something … a little wind … brought a fresh scent of newly turned earth with it.— Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
2 : power or sense of smell The dog has a keen scent.
3 : a course followed in search or pursuit of something The reporter was on the scent of a story.

scent

verb
scented; scenting

Kids Definition of scent (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to become aware of or follow through the sense of smell The dog scented a rabbit.
2 : to get a hint of Aunt Petunia obviously scented danger, too …— J. K. Rowling, Sorcerer's Stone
3 : to fill with an odor : perfume Roses scent the air.

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More from Merriam-Webster on scent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scent

Spanish Central: Translation of scent

Nglish: Translation of scent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scent for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about scent

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