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smell

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v smell become aware of not through the senses but instinctively "I sense his hostility","i smell trouble","smell out corruption"
    • v smell emit an odor "The soup smells good"
    • v smell smell bad "He rarely washes, and he smells"
    • v smell inhale the odor of; perceive by the olfactory sense
    • v smell have an element suggestive (of something) "his speeches smacked of racism","this passage smells of plagiarism"
    • n smell the act of perceiving the odor of something
    • n smell any property detected by the olfactory system
    • n smell the faculty that enables us to distinguish scents
    • n smell the sensation that results when olfactory receptors in the nose are stimulated by particular chemicals in gaseous form "she loved the smell of roses"
    • n smell the general atmosphere of a place or situation and the effect that it has on people "the feel of the city excited him","a clergyman improved the tone of the meeting","it had the smell of treason"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: You can only smell 1/20th as well as a dog
    • Smell The quality of any thing or substance, or emanation therefrom, which affects the olfactory organs; odor; scent; fragrance; perfume; as, the smell of mint. "Breathing the smell of field and grove.""That which, above all others, yields the sweetest smell in the air, is the violent."
    • Smell The sense or faculty by which certain qualities of bodies are perceived through the instrumentally of the olfactory nerves. See Sense.
    • Smell To affect the olfactory nerves; to have an odor or scent; -- often followed by of; as, to smell of smoke, or of musk.
    • Smell To detect or perceive, as if by the sense of smell; to scent out; -- often with out. "I smell a device.""Can you smell him out by that?"
    • Smell To exercise sagacity.
    • Smell To exercise the sense of smell.
    • Smell To give heed to. "From that time forward I began to smell the Word of God, and forsook the school doctors."
    • Smell To have a particular tincture or smack of any quality; to savor; as, a report smells of calumny. "Praises in an enemy are superfluous, or smell of craft."
    • Smell To perceive by the olfactory nerves, or organs of smell; to have a sensation of, excited through the nasal organs when affected by the appropriate materials or qualities; to obtain the scent of; as, to smell a rose; to smell perfumes.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: An elephant can smell water 3 miles away.
    • smell To perceive through the nose, by means of the olfactory nerves; perceive the scent of; scent; nose.
    • smell To perceive as if by smell; perceive in any way; especially, to detect by peculiar sagacity or a sort of instinct; smell out.
    • smell To inhale the smell or odor of; test by the sense of smell: oftener intransitive, with of or at.
    • smell To give out an odor; affect the olfactory sense: as, the rose smells sweet.
    • smell Specifically, to give out an offensive odor: as, how the place smells!
    • smell To have an odor (of a specified kind); be scented with: with of: as, to smell of roses.
    • smell Figuratively, to appear to be of a certain nature or character, as indicated by the smell: generally followed by like or of.
    • smell To inhale a smell or odor as a gratification or as a test of kind or quality, etc.: colloquially with of, formerly sometimes with to or unto.
    • smell To snuff; try to smell something; figuratively, to try to smell out something: generally with about: as, to go smelling about.
    • n smell The faculty of perceiving by the nose; senseperception through the olfactory nerves; the olfactory faculty or function; the physiological process or function whereby certain odoriferous qualities of bodies, as scent or effluvium, are perceived and recognized through sensation; olfaction; scent; often with the definite article, as one of the special senses: as, the smell in dogs is keen. The essential organ of smell is located in a special part or lobe of the brain, the rhinencephalon, or olfactory lobe, whence are given off more or fewer olfactory nerves, which pass out of the cranial cavity into the nasal organ, or nose, in the mucous or Schneiderian membrane of the interior of which they ramify, so that air laden with odoriferous particles can affect the nerves when it is drawn into or through the nasal passages. In man the sense of smell is very feeble and imperfect in comparison with that of many animals, especially of the carnivores, which pursue their prey by scent, and ruminants, which escape their enemies by the same means. Smell in the lower animals seems to be the guiding sense in determining their choice of food.
    • n smell That quality of anything which is or may be smelled; an odoriferous effluvium; an odor or scent, whether agreeable or offensive; a fragrance, perfume, or stench; aroma: as, the smell of thyme; the smell of bilge-water.
    • n smell A faint impression; a subtle suggestion; a hint; a trace: as, the poem has a smell of the woods.
    • n smell An act of smelling: as, he took a smell at the bottle. Synonyms Smell, Scent, Odor, Savor Perfume, Fragrance, Aroma, Stench, Stink, Smell and scent express the physical sense, the exercise of the sense, and the thing which appeals to the sense. The others have only the last of these three meanings. Of the nine words the first four may express that which is pleasant or unpleasant, the next three only that which is pleasant, the last two only that which is very unpleasant. Smell is the general word; the others are species under it. Scent is the smell that proceeds naturally from something that has life: as, the scent of game; the scent of the tea-rose. Odor is little more than a Latin substitute for smell; as, the odor of musk, of decaying vegetation; it may be a dainty word, as smell cannot be. Savor is a distinctive smell, suggesting taste or flavor, proceeding especially from some article of food: as, the savor of garlic. Perfume is generally a strong or rich but agreeable smell. Fragrance is best used to express fresh, delicate, and delicious odors especially such as emanate from living things: as, the fragrance of the violet, of new-mown hay, of the breath of an infant. Aroma should be restricted to a somewhat spicy smell; as, the aroma of roasted coffee, or of the musk-rose. Stench and stink are historically the same word, in different degrees of strength, representing a strong, penetrating, and disgusting odor; stink is not for polite use.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Bees and dogs can smell fear
    • v.i Smell smel to affect the nose: to have odour: to use the sense of smell
    • v.t Smell to perceive by the nose:—pa.t. and pa.p. smelled or smelt
    • n Smell the quality of bodies which affects the nose: odour: perfume: the sense which perceives this quality
    • ***

Quotations

  • James Shirley
    James Shirley
    “Only the actions of the just smell sweet and blossom in the dust.”
  • Neil Simon
    Neil Simon
    “New York is not Mecca. It just smells like it.”
  • H. L. Mencken
    H.%20L.%20Mencken
    “A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.”
  • Benjamin Franklin
    Benjamin%20Franklin
    “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.”
  • Danish Proverb
    Danish Proverb
    “Fish and guests smell at three days old.”
  • Thomas Mann
    Thomas%20Mann
    “If you are possessed by an idea, you find it expressed everywhere, you even smell it.”

Idioms

Come up smelling of roses - (UK) If someone comes up smelling of roses, they emerge from a situation with their reputation undamaged.
***
Smell a rat - If you smell a rat, you know instinctively that something is wrong or that someone is lying to you.
***
Wake up and smell the coffee - When someone doesn't realise what is really happening or is not paying enough attention to events around them, you can tell them to wake up and smell the coffee.
***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. smellen, smillen, smullen,; cf. LG. smellen, smelen, smölen, schmelen, to smoke, to reek, D. smeulen, to smolder, and E. smolder,. Cf. Smell (n.)

Usage

In literature:

And great heaven's, how it did smell.
"How Private George W. Peck Put Down The Rebellion or, The Funny Experiences of a Raw Recruit - 1887" by George W. Peck
We were aroused by a horrible smell.
"New Treasure Seekers" by E. (Edith) Nesbit
I was just feeling a bit of tired, and then I took a smell of poppy-heads and away went the tiredness to Jericho.
"The Manxman A Novel - 1895" by Hall Caine
Now I dare say the Old Squire thinks he smells tramps and wants to bite them.
"Last Words" by Juliana Horatia Ewing
As for him, he had smelled them the night before after everybody was asleep.
"Frank of Freedom Hill" by Samuel A. Derieux
They smelled very romantic.
"Fairy Prince and Other Stories" by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
Mr. Man up'n ax 'im is he got a bad cole, en Brer Rabbit 'spon' dat he smell sump'n' w'ich it don't smell like ripe peaches.
"Nights With Uncle Remus" by Joel Chandler Harris
How disagreeably it smells!
"Conversations on Chemistry, V. 1-2" by Jane Marcet
They threw themselves on the damp earth which smelled so fresh.
"Jewish Children" by Sholem Naumovich Rabinovich
Smelts smell like cucumbers: the green-bone fish and the mackerel smell alike.
"More Science From an Easy Chair" by Sir E. Ray (Edwin Ray) Lankester
I caught a smell of newly-turned earth.
"Waiting for Daylight" by Henry Major Tomlinson
And all the time there was a smell of roast meat and of the Finn's pipe, but once Klimov could detect a distinct smell of incense.
"The House with the Mezzanine and Other Stories" by Anton Tchekoff
You like the smell of flowers.
"Nobody's Girl" by Hector Malot
He made her see great beauties and minute, and whatever had a look of smelling sweet he crushed in his hands for her to smell.
"IT and Other Stories" by Gouverneur Morris
To have the English Government smelling at your heels is no joke, thought he.
"The Dop Doctor" by Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
Smell is probably the principal sense through which these animals gain information of distant objects.
"Man And His Ancestor" by Charles Morris
However, they had got in too deep to stick at trifles, but they smelled a mouse.
"Boys' Book of Frontier Fighters" by Edwin L. Sabin
Such smells came out of this kitchen, like no other smells in any house he knew.
"Old Crow" by Alice Brown
It did not matter if you had never smelled it before: any bear would know the man-smell by the first whiff he got of it.
"Bear Brownie" by H. P. Robinson
As for smells, what is a bad smell?
"Grenfell: Knight-Errant of the North" by Fullerton Waldo
***

In poetry:

But with the bitter blood
And the death-smell
All his life's sweetness bled
Into a smile.
"Has Your Soul Sipped?" by Wilfred Owen
‘Dear me!’ exclaimed Homer,
‘What a delicious aroma!
It smells as if a town
Was being burnt down.’
"Clerihew – Homer" by Edmund Clerihew Bentley
It is enough
To smell, to crumble the dark earth,
While the robin sings over again
Sad songs of Autumn mirth.
"Digging 2" by Edward Thomas
O blessed yaffil, laughing loud!
O blessed falling glass!
O blessed fan of cold gray cloud!
O blessed smelling grass!
"The South Wind: A Fisherman's Blessing" by Charles Kingsley
The rose is dead, and you are gone,
But to the dress I wore
The rose's smell, the thought of you,
Are wed forevermore.
"The Parting Day" by Edith Wharton
Blooming flowers all seem spotless,
On the spotless hill and dell,
Oh, how beautiful they all are,
And how fragrant too they smell.
"Spotless (James 1:21)" by Frank Barbour Coffin

In news:

Old People Smell Different, Not Worse.
Walking into The Dock restaurant at Fair Park early Labor Day morning, you smell nothing but cotton candy, grease and arrhythmia.
She just likes that fresh outdoor smell.
This week Iran revealed a perfume device that its inventor claims hides the smell of gunpowder.
The one who's had the "For Sale" sign on the front lawn for longer than it's comfortable for either of you to discuss -- can practically smell escrow.
Variation in the Smell of Our Sweat Can Convey Fear or Disgust.
Microbes give your house its distinctive smell.
And, boy, did that Cadillac smell by the time he got back.
They're rarities in that most stadiums these days still have that new-stadium smell wafting around.
Now, imagine it smelling terrible—like the-baddest-breath-you've-ever-smelled kind of terrible.
Residents said they smelled gas.
Walking into Scottsdale's Geisha A Go Go, one is overwhelmed with sights and smells.
(CBS News) There may be hope for people who are unable to smell.
You can almost see the lasers and smell the smoke while listening to this cracking live performance from Austin dance-rock duo Ghostland Observatory.
"Dog droppings, it doesn't smell good," said one resident.
***

In science:

This shows the usefulness of such methods to give sharp explicit results, even in situations that do not a priori smell like dependent spin systems and Gibbs-measures.
Universal bounds on the selfaveraging of random diffraction measures
Smell as a computational resource - a lesson we can learn from the ant.
The Cover Time of Deterministic Random Walks
Of course this “smells” like a critical phenomenon, but in order to make contact with the general theory, we need to convert our result to an expression where the symmetry is broken in the bulk, i.e. by a fermion mass term.
The phase transition in the multiflavour Schwinger model
Males with a strong or frequent signal might attract more mates simply because they are noticed more quickly or farther away, or because females are sensitive to the signal because it also occurs in other contexts (like a pheromone with a smell similar to that of food).
Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics
Perhaps the most basic is ”how to smell the pasta?”.
Neutron Star Crust and Molecular Dynamics Simulation
Smells and Imaginat ion can influence a person’s psycho logical and physio logical condit ion.
Influence of Alcohol Smell and Imagination on the Condition of the Human Organism and Subjective Human Experience
Estimat ion of smell influence 15 min after the test started.
Influence of Alcohol Smell and Imagination on the Condition of the Human Organism and Subjective Human Experience
Measurement of smell influence 30 min after exposure.
Influence of Alcohol Smell and Imagination on the Condition of the Human Organism and Subjective Human Experience
Measurement of smell influence 60 min after exposure.
Influence of Alcohol Smell and Imagination on the Condition of the Human Organism and Subjective Human Experience
Measurement of smell influence 30 min after exposure.
Influence of Alcohol Smell and Imagination on the Condition of the Human Organism and Subjective Human Experience
Measurement of smell influence 60 min after exposure.
Influence of Alcohol Smell and Imagination on the Condition of the Human Organism and Subjective Human Experience
Our tests show that the condit ion of the organism changes under the influence of alcoho l smell.
Influence of Alcohol Smell and Imagination on the Condition of the Human Organism and Subjective Human Experience
Alcoho l smell and imaginat ion of alcoho l influences the human organism’s condit ion.
Influence of Alcohol Smell and Imagination on the Condition of the Human Organism and Subjective Human Experience
No one has ever seen heat, nor will it ever be seen, smelled or touched.
The Physics and Mathematics of the Second Law of Thermodynamics
We would argue that this is a purely semantic distinction: if it looks like inflation and smells like inflation, then let’s call it inflation while leaving open the possibility that current inflationary ideas may one day be shown to be part of some better paradigm.
What have we already learned from the CMB?
***