Synonym Chooser

How is the word malodorous distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of malodorous are fetid, fusty, musty, noisome, putrid, rank, and stinking. While all these words mean "bad-smelling," malodorous may range from the unpleasant to the strongly offensive.

malodorous fertilizers

How do fusty and musty relate to one another, in the sense of malodorous?

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

In what contexts can noisome take the place of malodorous?

The synonyms noisome and malodorous are sometimes interchangeable, but noisome adds a suggestion of being harmful or unwholesome as well as offensive.

a stagnant, noisome sewer

When can putrid be used instead of malodorous?

The words putrid and malodorous are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, putrid implies particularly the sickening odor of decaying organic matter.

the putrid smell of rotting fish

When would rank be a good substitute for malodorous?

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

rank cigar smoke

How are the words stinking and fetid related as synonyms of malodorous?

Both stinking and fetid suggest the foul or disgusting.

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

Thesaurus Entries Near malodorous

Cite this Entry

“Malodorous.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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