smell Definition

  • 1the faculty or power of perceiving odors or scents by means of the organs in the nose
  • 2an odor or scent, especially a pleasant one
  • 3a quality detected by means other than the sense of sight or hearing; an instinctive appreciation

Using smell: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "smell" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The smell of freshly baked bread wafted through the air.

  • Example

    I love the smell of roses in the garden.

  • Example

    She has a keen sense of smell and can detect even the slightest odors.

smell Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for smell

Phrases with smell

  • to suspect that something is wrong or dishonest


    I smelled a rat when he refused to answer my questions.

  • smell blood

    to sense weakness or vulnerability in an opponent


    The team smelled blood and went on to win the game.

  • to take time to appreciate and enjoy the good things in life


    After years of working hard, she decided to take a break and smell the roses.

Origins of smell

from Old English 'smele', related to 'smell' (verb)


Summary: smell in Brief

The term 'smell' [smel] refers to the sense of perceiving odors or scents, as well as the odors themselves. It can also denote an instinctive appreciation of a quality, such as danger. Phrases like 'smell a rat' and 'smell blood' are idiomatic expressions that convey suspicion or sensing weakness. 'Smell the roses' is an idiom that encourages taking time to appreciate the good things in life.

How do native speakers use this expression?