An odor is anything you can smell — like a scent or an aroma. If you sniff a sour odor in your gallon of milk, you should probably pour it down the sink instead of drinking it.

Most people are more likely to use the word odor for unpleasant smells, like the odor of your uncle's stinky cigars or the musty odor in your grandmother's attic. You can also use the word odor in a figurative way, to mean a feeling or impression given by something: "The whole bank seemed full of the odor of money and greed." Odor is Latin, meaning "a smell or a scent."

Definitions of odor
  1. noun
    any property detected by the olfactory system
    synonyms: aroma, odour, olfactory property, scent, smell
    see moresee less
    show 6 types...
    hide 6 types...
    bouquet, fragrance, fragrancy, redolence, sweetness
    a pleasingly sweet olfactory property
    fetidness, foulness, malodorousness, rankness, stinkiness
    the attribute of having a strong offensive smell
    having the olfactory properties of musk
    the property of being rancid
    a pungent and distinctive odor
    B.O., body odor, body odour
    malodorousness resulting from a failure to bathe
    type of:
    a basic or essential attribute shared by all members of a class
  2. noun
    the sensation that results when olfactory receptors in the nose are stimulated by particular chemicals in gaseous form
    synonyms: odour, olfactory perception, olfactory sensation, smell
    see moresee less
    show 8 types...
    hide 8 types...
    an odor left in passing by which a person or animal can be traced
    aroma, fragrance, perfume, scent
    a distinctive odor that is pleasant
    fetor, foetor, malodor, malodour, mephitis, reek, stench, stink
    a distinctive odor that is offensively unpleasant
    having an acrid smell
    the scent of a greasy glandular secretion from the male musk deer
    the pleasing scent produced when incense is burned
    niff, pong
    an unpleasant smell
    a pleasant, earthly smell associated with rain, especially after a period of dry, warm weather
    type of:
    aesthesis, esthesis, sensation, sense datum, sense experience, sense impression
    an unelaborated elementary awareness of stimulation
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘odor'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up odor for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer