Synonyms & Antonyms of stinking

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 having an unpleasant smell
  • came home from their trip to find stinking garbage that had been left in the kitchen

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2 slang being under the influence of alcohol
  • warned her husband not to come home stinking—or he'd be sleeping on the couch

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Synonyms & Antonyms of stinking (Entry 2 of 3)

to a great degree
  • a huge, showy house that screams, "We're stinking rich!"

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present participle of stink

Synonyms & Antonyms of stinking (Entry 3 of 3)

1 to give off an extremely unpleasant smell
  • the dog stinks because she tangled with a skunk again

Synonyms for stinking

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2 to be objectionable or unsatisfactory
  • their team really stinks this year

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Frequently Asked Questions About stinking

How is the word stinking distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of stinking are fetid, fusty, malodorous, musty, noisome, putrid, and rank. 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 stinking?

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

Where would malodorous be a reasonable alternative to stinking?

The words malodorous and stinking are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, malodorous may range from the unpleasant to the strongly offensive.

malodorous fertilizers

When might noisome be a better fit than stinking?

Although the words noisome and stinking have much in common, noisome adds a suggestion of being harmful or unwholesome as well as offensive.

a stagnant, noisome sewer

When is it sensible to use putrid instead of stinking?

The synonyms putrid and stinking are sometimes interchangeable, but putrid implies particularly the sickening odor of decaying organic matter.

the putrid smell of rotting fish

When is rank a more appropriate choice than stinking?

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

rank cigar smoke

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Time Traveler for stinking

Time Traveler

The first known use of stinking was before the 12th century

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Thesaurus Entries Near stinking



stinking up

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Cite this Entry

“Stinking.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on stinking

Nglish: Translation of stinking for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stinking for Arabic Speakers


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