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Related to smelling: smelling salts, Smelling Disorders


a. The sense, located in the nasal cavities of mammals and relying on the olfactory nerves, by which molecules borne in a fluid such as air can be perceived; the olfactory sense.
b. A similar sense in other animals, as insects' ability to perceive air-borne molecules with their antennae.
2. The act or an instance of smelling: got a smell of the pie.
a. A quality of something that is perceived by the sense of smell; an odor: the smell of a barn.
b. A distinctive enveloping or characterizing quality; an aura or trace: the smell of success.
v. smelled or smelt (smĕlt), smell·ing, smells
a. To perceive (an odor) by the sense of smell.
b. To perceive or detect (something) by a chemosensory organ, such as an antenna.
2. To inhale the air near (something); sniff: smiled as she smelled the rose.
3. To detect or discover, as by intuition or inference: We smelled trouble ahead. The committee tried to smell out corruption in law enforcement.
1. To use the sense of smell.
2. To sniff: The dog was smelling around the bed.
a. To have or emit an odor: "The breeze smelled exactly like Vouvray—flowery, with a hint of mothballs underneath" (Anne Tyler).
b. To have or emit an unpleasant odor; stink: This closet smells.
a. To be suggestive; have a touch of something: a remark that smells of sanctimony.
b. To appear to be dishonest or corrupt: The political situation is starting to smell.
smell a rat Slang
To suspect that something is wrong.
smell blood
To sense an opportunity for advantage at someone else's expense.
smell the roses
To spend time in leisurely enjoyment.

[Middle English smel, of unknown origin.]
Synonyms: smell, aroma, odor, scent
These nouns denote a quality that can be perceived by the olfactory sense: the smell of smoke; the aroma of frying onions; hospital odors; the scent of pine needles.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.smelling - the act of perceiving the odor of somethingsmelling - the act of perceiving the odor of something
sensing, perception - becoming aware of something via the senses
sniff, snuff - sensing an odor by inhaling through the nose
Adj.1.smelling - (used with `of' or `with') noticeably odorous; "the hall was redolent of floor wax"; "air redolent with the fumes of beer and whiskey"
odorous - having odor or a characteristic odor; "odorous jasmine flowers"; "odorous garbage"; "fresh odorous bread"
References in classic literature ?
For a half hour he stayed in the alleyway, smelling the strong smell of animals too closely housed and letting his mind play with the strange new thoughts that came to him.
And here, the reality was that they sat ten feet apart, she at the window, crushing geranium leaves in her hand and smelling them, he twirling around on the piano stool, saying:
Thinking murder at hand, and smelling in the dark for the blood, he and all his armed mates and harpooneers rushed for the forecastle.
It has been said that the whale only breathes through his spout-hole; if it could truthfully be added that his spouts are mixed with water, then I opine we should be furnished with the reason why his sense of smell seems obliterated in him; for the only thing about him that at all answers to his nose is that identical spout-hole; and being so clogged with two elements, it could not be expected to have the power of smelling.
And any one o' these yer drivers that comes smelling round arter any our people, why, he's got me in his way; I'm the feller he's got to set in with,--I'm the feller for yer all to come to, bredren,--I'll stand up for yer rights,--I'll fend 'em to the last breath
Con- ducted by mailed guards bearing flaring torches, we tramped along echoing corridors, and down stone stair- ways dank and dripping, and smelling of mould and ages of imprisoned night -- a chill, uncanny journey and a long one, and not made the shorter or the cheerier by the sorceress's talk, which was about this sufferer and his crime.
It was a Testament, in lean type, and smelling dreadfully musty: a fly-leaf bore the inscription -
When Dickon talks about it you feel as if you saw things and heard them and as if you were standing in the heather with the sun shining and the gorse smelling like honey--and all full of bees and butterflies.
At the best of times, so much of this elixir was administered to me as a choice restorative, that I was conscious of going about, smelling like a new fence.
When I've got a pot o' good ale, I like to swaller it, and do my inside good, i'stead o' smelling and staring at it to see if I can't find faut wi' the brewing.
On the tenth day from now the circle of the Ingomboco must be set, and there shall be such a smelling out of wizards and of witches as has not been known in Zululand
Maria, in her excitement, jammed the bedroom and bedroom-closet doors together, and for five minutes, through the partly open door, clouds of steam, smelling of soap-suds and dirt, poured into the sick chamber.