smell 1 of 2

as in to sniff
to become aware of by means of the sense organs in the nose we smelled the aroma of freshly baked cookies as soon as we walked in the house

Synonyms & Similar Words

as in to suck
to be objectionable or unsatisfactory that movie smells—I wouldn't waste my money on it if I were you

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms


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Synonym Chooser

How does the noun smell contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of smell are aroma, odor, and scent. While all these words mean "the quality that makes a thing perceptible to the olfactory sense," smell implies solely the sensation without suggestion of quality or character.

an odd smell permeated the room

When is it sensible to use aroma instead of smell?

The meanings of aroma and smell largely overlap; however, aroma suggests a somewhat penetrating usually pleasant odor.

the aroma of freshly ground coffee

How are the words odor and smell related?

Odor may imply a stronger or more readily distinguished scent or it may be equivalent to smell.

a cheese with a strong odor

When could scent be used to replace smell?

Although the words scent and smell have much in common, scent applies to the characteristic smell given off by a substance, an animal, or a plant.

the scent of lilacs

Thesaurus Entries Near smell

Cite this Entry

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

More from Merriam-Webster on smell

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