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smell - definition and synonyms

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verb     smell pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlesmelling
past tensesmelled or smelt
past participlesmelled or smelt
  1. 1
    [linking verb] to have a particular smell

    a strong-smelling perfume

    This milk smells off (=no longer fresh).

    smell like:

    It smells like a bar in here.

    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      [intransitive] [never progressive] to have an unpleasant smell

      His feet really smell.

  2. 2
    [transitive] [never progressive] to notice or recognize the smell of something

    Sasha could smell the sweet aroma of warm chocolate.

    Do you smell gas?

  3. 3
    [transitive] to experience the smell of something by putting your nose close to it

    Come and smell these roses.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] [never progressive] to be able to experience the smell of things

    I can’t smell at all with this cold.

  5. 5
    [transitive] to feel that something is going to happen, usually something bad
    smell danger/trouble:

    I could just smell trouble in that club.

  6. 6
    [intransitive] to be illegal or dishonest

    I can’t put my finger on it, but something about this deal really smells.

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