\ ˈstench How to pronounce stench (audio) \

Definition of stench

1 : stink
2 : a characteristic repugnant quality

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from stench

stenchful \ ˈstench-​fəl How to pronounce stenchful (audio) \ adjective
stenchy \ ˈsten-​chē How to pronounce stenchy (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for stench


funk, reek, stink


aroma, fragrance, perfume

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of stench in a Sentence

the stench of rotting meat we finally discovered the dead rat that was causing the stench in the basement

Recent Examples on the Web

Durian, a tropical fruit famous for its gym-sock stench, has recently become wildly popular in China. Julie Wernau, WSJ, "Rising Demand for Delivery Is Shifting China’s Grocery Landscape," 24 June 2019 Mario Rivera and his veterinarian wife, Stefanie Worwag, asked their neighbor's permission first and are using copious amounts of lime to speed decomposition and reduce the stench. NBC News, "Scientists ask for private beaches to study gray whale carcasses," 21 June 2019 Mario Rivera and his veterinarian wife, Stefanie Worwag, asked their neighbor’s permission first and are using copious amounts of lime to speed decomposition and reduce the stench. Washington Post, "US agency seeks ‘hosts’ for rotting whales amid die-off," 21 June 2019 Apart from the stench, the plant's unpredictable blooming cycle is part of its mystique. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "The World's Stinkiest Flower is Ready to Bloom in the Bronx," 21 June 2019 The bloom also causes respiratory irritations in people which, coupled with the stench of rotting marine life, sent many tourists inland away from the beaches, seaside attractions and restaurants with outdoor seating. Jennifer Kay, The Seattle Times, "Experts: Hurricane Michael failed to end Florida’s red tide," 15 Oct. 2018 The stench of a politically motivated witch hunt is in the air. Rebecca Ballhaus, WSJ, "Mueller Bores Into Trump Adviser Roger Stone’s Ties to WikiLeaks," 30 Nov. 2018 Rescue workers smeared Vick’s Vapo-Rub under their noses to try to numb their senses against the stench. Michael Biesecker, The Seattle Times, "Hurricane could flood many waste sites, creating toxic brew," 11 Sep. 2018 As an overpowering stench filled the desert air, Sgt. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Known Unknown: Tales of the Yucca Man," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stench.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of stench

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stench

Middle English, from Old English stenc; akin to Old English stincan to emit a smell — more at stink

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stench

Dictionary Entries near stench





stench bomb

stench trap


Statistics for stench

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stench

The first known use of stench was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stench



English Language Learners Definition of stench

: a very bad smell

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on stench

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stench

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stench

Spanish Central: Translation of stench

Nglish: Translation of stench for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stench for Arabic Speakers

Comments on stench

What made you want to look up stench? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!