Synonym Chooser

How does the noun odor contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of odor are aroma, scent, and smell. While all these words mean "the quality that makes a thing perceptible to the olfactory sense," odor may imply a stronger or more readily distinguished scent or it may be equivalent to smell.

a cheese with a strong odor

When might aroma be a better fit than odor?

While in some cases nearly identical to odor, aroma suggests a somewhat penetrating usually pleasant odor.

the aroma of freshly ground coffee

When would scent be a good substitute for odor?

The words scent and odor can be used in similar contexts, but scent applies to the characteristic smell given off by a substance, an animal, or a plant.

the scent of lilacs

In what contexts can smell take the place of odor?

Although the words smell and odor have much in common, smell implies solely the sensation without suggestion of quality or character.

an odd smell permeated the room

Thesaurus Entries Near odor

Cite this Entry

“Odor.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/odor. Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

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