• Scent


    • Rhymes: -ɛnt
    • enPR: sĕnt, IPA: /sɛnt/
    • Homophones: cent, sent

    Alternative forms


    From c.1400 Old French sentir "to feel, perceive, smell," from Latin sentire "to feel, perceive, sense"; originally a hunting term. The -c- appeared 17c., possibly by influence of ascent, descent, etc., or by influence of science.

    Full definition of scent



    (plural scents)
    1. A distinctive odour or smell.the scent of flowersthe scent of a skunk
    2. An odour left by an animal that may be used for tracing.The dogs lost the scent.
    3. The sense of smell.I believe the bloodhound has the best scent of all dogs.
    4. A perfume.
    5. (figuratively) Any trail or trace that can be followed to find something or someone.

    Usage notes

    Almost always applied to agreeable odors (fragrances).

    Derived terms


    1. to detect the scent ofThe hounds scented the fox in the woods.
      • ShakespeareMethinks I scent the morning air.
    2. to impart an odour toScent the air with burning sage before you begin your meditation.
      • DrydenBalm from a silver box distilled around,
        Shall all bedew the roots, and scent the sacred ground.
    3. To have a smell.
      • HollandThunderbolts ... do scent strongly of brimstone.
    4. To hunt animals by means of the sense of smell.


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