overpowering, pervasive, pungent, rich, sharp, strong

There was an overpowering smell of burning rubber.

distinctive, particular, unmistakable
funny, peculiar, strange, unusual

What's that funny smell?

aromatic, delectable, delicious, fragrant, fresh, lovely, nice, pleasant, sweet, wonderful

the sweet smell of roses

awful, bad, disgusting, evil, foul, horrible, nasty, offensive, terrible, unpleasant, vile
acrid, nauseating, noxious, putrid, rank, sickly

An acrid smell filled the air.

damp, musty, rancid, sour, stale

the sour smell of unwashed linen

chemical, earthy, fishy, masculine, metallic, musky, smoky, spicy
burning, cooking

Cooking smells drifted up from the kitchen.

be filled with, have

The air was filled with a pervasive smell of chemicals.

The house had a musty smell after being shut up over the winter.

give off

The skunk gives off an unpleasant smell when attacked.

catch, detect, notice

As she walked into the house she detected the smell of gas.


Fragrance dispensers are designed to mask unpleasant smells.

come, drift, emanate, float, waft

The smell was coming from the kitchen.

A delicious smell of freshly baked bread wafted across the lawn.

fill sth, hang in the air

The smell of death hangs in the air.

hit sb

Then the pungent smell hit us—rotting fish and seaweed.

smell from

the putrid smell from the slaughterhouse

smell of

the smell of smoke

sense of smell

Deer have a keen sense of smell.

the sights, sounds and smells of … 

The sights, sounds and smells of Delhi stunned me.

1 notice/identify sth by using your nose
almost, practically

Snow fell so that you could almost smell the cold.

You could practically smell the danger around us.


Can you smell gas?

2 have a particular smell

His clothes smelled strongly of fish.

faintly, slightly, vaguely

He smelled faintly of sweat.


It smells like rotten meat!


The kitchen smelled sweetly of herbs and fruit.

Smell is used with these nouns as the subject: ↑food, ↑room
Smell is used with these nouns as the object: ↑air, ↑aroma, ↑blossom, ↑booze, ↑danger, ↑food, ↑fragrance, ↑fumes, ↑gasoline, ↑odour, ↑perfume, ↑petrol, ↑scent

Collocations dictionary. 2013.

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  • smell — smell,[/p] scent, odor, aroma all denote a property of a thing that makes it perceptible to the olfactory sense. Smell not only is the most general of these terms but tends to be the most colorless. It is the appropriate word when merely the… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Smell — (sm[e^]l), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Smelled}, {Smelt}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Smelling}.] [OE. smellen, smillen, smullen; cf. LG. smellen, smelen, sm[ o]len, schmelen, to smoke, to reek, D. smeulen to smolder, and E. smolder. Cf. {Smell}, n.] 1. To… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • smell — [smel] vt. smelled or [Chiefly Brit.] Brit. smelt, smelling [ME smellen < OE * smyllan < IE base * smel , to burn slowly > SMOLDER: basic sense “to give off smoke”] 1. to be or become aware of by means of the nose and the olfactory… …   English World dictionary

  • smell — smell; smell·able; smell·age; smell·er; smell·ful; smell·fun·gus; smell·ie; smell·i·ness; …   English syllables

  • Smell — Smell, n. [OE. smel, smil, smul, smeol. See {Smell}, v. t.] (Physiol.) 1. The sense or faculty by which certain qualities of bodies are perceived through the instrumentally of the olfactory nerves. See {Sense}. [1913 Webster] 2. The quality of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Smell — Smell, v. i. 1. To affect the olfactory nerves; to have an odor or scent; often followed by of; as, to smell of smoke, or of musk. [1913 Webster] 2. To have a particular tincture or smack of any quality; to savor; as, a report smells of calumny.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • smell — verb. The form for the past tense and past participle in BrE is smelled or smelt; in AmE smelled is usually preferred. When the verb is used intransitively, the quality of the smell is normally expressed either by a phrase introduced by of or by… …   Modern English usage

  • smell — (v.) late 12c., emit or perceive an odor, also (n.) odor, aroma, stench; not found in O.E., perhaps cognate with M.Du. smolen, Low Ger. smelen to smolder (see SMOLDER (Cf. smolder)). OED says no doubt of O.E. origin, but not recorded, and not… …   Etymology dictionary

  • smell — [n] odor aroma, bouquet, emanation, essence, flavor, fragrance, incense, perfume, redolence, savor, scent, spice, stench, stink, tang, trace, trail, whiff; concepts 590,599 smell [v1] perceive with the nose breathe, detect, discover, find, get a… …   New thesaurus

  • smell|y — «SMEHL ee», adjective, smell|i|er, smell|i|est. having or giving out a strong or unpleasant smell: »I wonder what makes the sea so smelly. I don t like it (Rudyard Kipling). SYNONYM( …   Useful english dictionary

  • Smell — may refer to:* Olfaction, the sense of smell, the ability of humans and other animals to perceive odors * Odor * In programming, a code smell is a symptom in the source code of a program that something is wrong …   Wikipedia

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