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.
- To perceive the scent of (something) by means of the olfactory nerves.
- To sense the presence of by or as if by the olfactory nerves; detect or discover: We smelled trouble ahead. The committee tried to smell out corruption in law enforcement.
- To use the sense of smell; perceive the scent of something.
- To have or emit an odor: "The breeze smelled exactly like Vouvray—flowery, with a hint of mothballs underneath” ( Anne Tyler).
- To be suggestive; have a touch of something: a cave that smells of terror.
- To have or emit an unpleasant odor; stink: This closet smells.
- To appear to be dishonest; suggest evil or corruption.
- The sense by which odors are perceived; the olfactory sense.
- That quality of something that may be perceived by the olfactory sense.
- The act or an instance of smelling.
- A distinctive enveloping or characterizing quality; an aura or trace: the smell of success.
- smell a rat Slang To suspect that something is wrong.