: stink
: a characteristic repugnant quality
stenchful adjective
stenchy adjective

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 There were bodies stacked in piles and in railroad box cars; the stench of death was overwhelming. Daniel Weintraub, Sacramento Bee, 31 Jan. 2024 The stench of that memory is why Jackson hopes to avoid any complacency. Brian Wacker, Baltimore Sun, 1 Jan. 2024 The stench hit the Columbia University student during a pro-Palestinian rally on campus Friday. Maham Javaid, Washington Post, 24 Jan. 2024 Cows jostle for space beneath metal awnings on crowded patches of dirt, emitting a stench that wafts over nearby towns. Jake Bittle, WIRED, 6 Jan. 2024 Neighbors also said that a stench was coming from the house, and the dogs could be heard barking inside, WLKY reported. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 1 Jan. 2024 Cockroaches and flies infested the facilities, and there was an overwhelming stench from the piles of human waste. Adam Rasgon, The New Yorker, 19 Dec. 2023 Back at the University of Turin’s forensic chemistry lab—a basement that at the time had little ventilation, the better to prevent the stench of dead insects from invading the rest of the building—Magni began her first high-profile chemical analysis in aquatic forensics. Jordan Michael Smith, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Jan. 2024 The Spaniards who have stumbled onto Moctezuma’s court are aghast at the stench of priests covered in blood from human sacrifices, while Moctezuma’s assiduously clean courtiers complain that the men smell of excrement and dogs. Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 2 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stench.' 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 Old English stenc; akin to Old English stincan to emit a smell — more at stink

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near stench

Cite this Entry

“Stench.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a very disagreeable smell : stink sense 1

More from Merriam-Webster on stench

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