odor

noun
\ ˈō-dər How to pronounce odor (audio) \

Definition of odor

1a : a quality of something that stimulates the olfactory organ : scent
b : a sensation resulting from adequate stimulation of the olfactory organ : smell
2a : a characteristic or predominant quality : flavor the odor of sanctity
b : repute, estimation in bad odor
3 archaic : something that emits a sweet or pleasing scent : perfume

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from odor

odored \ ˈō-​dərd How to pronounce odor (audio) \ adjective
odorless \ ˈō-​dər-​ləs How to pronounce odor (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for odor

smell, scent, odor, aroma 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 scent applies to the characteristic smell given off by a substance, an animal, or a plant. the scent of lilacs odor may imply a stronger or more readily distinguished scent or it may be equivalent to smell. a cheese with a strong odor aroma suggests a somewhat penetrating usually pleasant odor. the aroma of freshly ground coffee

Examples of odor in a Sentence

The cheese has a strong odor. This deodorant prevents bad odor from occurring.
Recent Examples on the Web Dallas Fire-Rescue responded to a 10:21 a.m. call of a natural gas odor at 5726 Highland Hills Road in South Dallas, officials there said Wednesday. NBC News, 29 Sep. 2021 While investigating the source of the odor, an explosion occurred. Fox News, 29 Sep. 2021 Try the fast way to get rid of odor from the microwave. Washington Post, 16 Sep. 2021 Southwest Gas said in an email that technicians arrived in the area on Thursday after receiving a report of an odor, then proceeded to turn off the gas for safety purposes. Salma Reyes, The Arizona Republic, 11 Sep. 2021 Your skin feels a little sticky and there's a bit of an odor but showering right away is a no-no. Sara Miranda, Allure, 12 Aug. 2021 But what was responsible for the odor, the sheen on the water, and the fish kill was not determined by DEP. BostonGlobe.com, 23 July 2021 When asked about the odor, the driver admitted to smoking the day before. John Benson, cleveland, 29 Sep. 2021 What a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity, as Big Daddy said. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 20 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'odor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of odor

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for odor

Middle English odour, borrowed from Anglo-French odur, borrowed from Latin odor (early Latin odōs), going back to *od-os-, s-stem derivative of a verbal base *od- (whence Latin oleō, olēre, also olō, olere "to give off a smell, smell (of)," from *odere), going back to Indo-European *h3ed-, whence Greek ózein "to smell, give off an odor," Armenian hot "smell, odor" (probably also an s-stem), Lithuanian úodžiu, úosti "to smell, sniff"

Note: The length in the Baltic form is attributed to Winter's Law, which is believed to lengthen vowels before an original voiced, unaspirated stop in Baltic and Slavic in certain environments.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About odor

Time Traveler for odor

Time Traveler

The first known use of odor was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near odor

-odonty

odor

odorant

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for odor

Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Odor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/odor. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for odor

odor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of odor

: a particular smell

odor

noun
\ ˈō-dər How to pronounce odor (audio) \

Kids Definition of odor

: a particular smell The odor of flowers filled my room. … the air was … thick with the smell of body odor.— Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising

Other Words from odor

odorless \ ˈō-​dər-​ləs \ adjective

odor

noun
variants: or chiefly British odour \ ˈōd-​ər How to pronounce odor (audio) \

Medical Definition of odor

1 : a quality of something that stimulates the olfactory organ : smell
2 : a sensation resulting from adequate chemical stimulation of the olfactory organ a disagreeable odor

Other Words from odor

odored or chiefly British odoured adjective
odorless or chiefly British odourless adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on odor

Nglish: Translation of odor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of odor for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about odor

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!