• Odor


    • UK IPA: /ˈəʊ.də/
    • US IPA: /ˈoʊ.dɚ/
    • Rhymes: -əʊdə(r)

    Alternative forms


    Middle English odour, from Anglo-Norman odour, from Old French odor, from Latin odor.

    Full definition of odor



    (countable and uncountable; plural odors)
    1. Any smell, whether fragrant or offensive; scent; perfume.
      • 1895, H. G. Wells, The Time Machine Chapter XNow, I still think that for this box of matches to have escaped the wear of time for immemorial years was a strange, and for me, a most fortunate thing. Yet oddly enough I found here a far more unlikely substance, and that was camphor. I found it in a sealed jar, that, by chance, I supposed had been really hermetically sealed. I fancied at first the stuff was paraffin wax, and smashed the jar accordingly. But the odour of camphor was unmistakable.
    2. (figuratively) A strong, pervasive quality.
    3. (figuratively, uncountable) Esteem; repute.

    Usage notes

    In the United States, the term "odor" often has a negative connotation. Preferred terms for a pleasant odor are "fragrance", "scent", or "aroma".



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