Synonym Chooser

How is the word putrid distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of putrid are fetid, fusty, malodorous, musty, noisome, rank, and stinking. While all these words mean "bad-smelling," putrid implies particularly the sickening odor of decaying organic matter.

the putrid smell of rotting fish

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

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 putrid?

While in some cases nearly identical to putrid, malodorous may range from the unpleasant to the strongly offensive.

malodorous fertilizers

When is noisome a more appropriate choice than putrid?

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

a stagnant, noisome sewer

When is it sensible to use rank instead of putrid?

The words rank and putrid are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, rank suggests a strong unpleasant smell.

rank cigar smoke

How do stinking and fetid relate to one another, in the sense of putrid?

Both stinking and fetid suggest the foul or disgusting.

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

Thesaurus Entries Near putrid

Cite this Entry

“Putrid.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/putrid. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

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