Synonym Chooser

How is the word fetid distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of fetid are fusty, malodorous, musty, noisome, putrid, rank, and stinking. While all these words mean "bad-smelling," stinking and fetid suggest the foul or disgusting.

prisoners were held in stinking cells
the fetid odor of skunk cabbage

How are the words fusty and musty related as synonyms of fetid?

Both fusty and musty suggest lack of fresh air and sunlight, fusty also implying prolonged uncleanliness, musty stressing the effects of dampness, mildew, or age.

a fusty attic
the musty odor of a damp cellar

When would malodorous be a good substitute for fetid?

Although the words malodorous and fetid have much in common, malodorous may range from the unpleasant to the strongly offensive.

malodorous fertilizers

Where would noisome be a reasonable alternative to fetid?

The meanings of noisome and fetid largely overlap; however, noisome adds a suggestion of being harmful or unwholesome as well as offensive.

a stagnant, noisome sewer

When can putrid be used instead of fetid?

While the synonyms putrid and fetid are close in meaning, putrid implies particularly the sickening odor of decaying organic matter.

the putrid smell of rotting fish

When could rank be used to replace fetid?

In some situations, the words rank and fetid are roughly equivalent. However, rank suggests a strong unpleasant smell.

rank cigar smoke

Thesaurus Entries Near fetid

Cite this Entry

“Fetid.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

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