scent

noun
\ ˈsent \

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 \ 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

Best-suited for larger dogs, this oil is completely non-toxic, and its mouthwatering tinctures release a smoking scent that dogs love. Popular Mechanics, "4 Great Ways To Chill With CBD Oil," 14 Dec. 2018 But after several hours of searching, Ruby picked up a scent and ran straight to the boy, who was unconscious but alive in the woods near Patricia’s house. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "This Abandoned Shelter Dog Rescued the Missing Son of Her Former Trainer," 20 Nov. 2018 Sullivan says a rancid scent could mean your body is struggling with digestion issues. Samantha Lefave, Redbook, "Why You Should Never Ignore Sweet-Smelling Urine (or These Other Body Odors)," 3 Aug. 2018 The toy company on Friday announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has recognized Play-doh’s distinctive smell with a registered trademark, something rarely issued for a scent. NBC News, "Hasbro trademarks Play-doh's scent: Sweet, slightly musky," 18 May 2018 While there was an overwhelmingly positive response to texture, the scent was polarizing. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "The 8 Best Hand Creams to Moisturize Dry, Cracked Hands ASAP," 6 Dec. 2018 Fresh and floral, (fa, la, la, la) lavender is loved all year long, but the soothing scent is especially useful during the stressful holiday season. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "These Essential Oils Will Make Your Entire Home Smell Like Christmas," 14 Oct. 2018 The scent—a combo of light florals like jasmine, salted caramel, and pistachio—is probably the sexiest thing ever, and the butter provides a thick coating of hydrating moisturizers to leave my normally dry skin soft for hours on end. Rachel Jacoby Zoldan, SELF, "This Foot Cream Is Actually the Best Hand Cream of All Time," 12 Oct. 2018 To mimic a scent that exists in nature is a subtle craft, certainly. Cotton Codinha, Allure, "Mathilde Laurent Used All of Her Senses to Create a Scent That Smells Like Diamonds," 2 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Philyra added these to a database and compared them to additional customer data provided by Symrise, like which scents were best-sellers and where, who was buying them, and which age demographic prefers which scents the most. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "Is AI the future of perfume? IBM is betting on it.," 24 Oct. 2018 To scent a feeling or an object that has no odor, however, requires learning another language, a more psychic one. Cotton Codinha, Allure, "Mathilde Laurent Used All of Her Senses to Create a Scent That Smells Like Diamonds," 2 Oct. 2018 The hair lightener is scented with Ouai No.6, which smells like coconut and pineapple. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Ouai Created a Modern Version of Sun-In," 1 May 2018 Try the biodynamic Alsatian white blend from Barmès-Buecher, or a sunny Picpoul de Pinet with roasted clams casino whose buttery crumb topping was scented with smoky Benton’s bacon. Craig Laban, Philly.com, "Craig LaBan's first bite of the Delaware beaches | A dining guide," 15 June 2018 Sweet and sour brinjal caponata, with chunks of eggplant and curry leaves, is scented with cumin. Ann Trieger Kurland, BostonGlobe.com, "So many chutneys, so many uses," 11 June 2018 Monnich’s kitchen also does a fine job with its charcuterie, especially the coarse-ground chicken-mushroom pâté scented with Madeira. Craig Laban, Philly.com, "The Bercy adds French brasserie sheen to thriving Ardmore scene," 13 July 2018 LAKE AMADOR The Lake Amador Resort continues to release over 1,000 pounds of Mt. Lassen Hatchery rainbow trout per week, and bank anglers are scoring consistent limits with trout dough bait in bright colors scented with garlic. sacbee, "Fishing line: Striper action takes off near Colusa and on Feather River | The Sacramento Bee," 23 Apr. 2018 It’s made of cornstarch and kaolin clay, among a few moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, and is scented with jasmine. Louise Green, SELF, "5 Tips for Avoiding Inner-Thigh Chafing This Summer," 5 July 2018

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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Statistics for scent

Last Updated

6 Jan 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 \

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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