Pronunciation: (smel), [key]
—v., smelled or smelt, smell•ing,
1. to perceive the odor or scent of through the nose by means of the olfactory nerves; inhale the odor of: I smell something burning.
2. to test by the sense of smell: She smelled the meat to see if it was fresh.
3. to perceive, detect, or discover by shrewdness or sagacity: The detective smelled foul play.
1. to perceive something by its odor or scent.
2. to search or investigate (fol. by around or about).
3. to give off or have an odor or scent: Do the yellow roses smell?
4. to give out an offensive odor; stink.
5. to have a particular odor (fol. by of): My hands smell of fish.
6. to have a trace or suggestion (fol. by of).
7. Informal.to be of inferior quality; stink: The play is good, but the direction smells.
8. Informal.to have the appearance or a suggestion of guilt or corruption: They may be honest, but the whole situation smells.
9. smell a rat. See rat (def. 6).
10. smell out,to look for or detect as if by smelling; search out: to smell out enemy spies.
11. smell up,to fill with an offensive odor; stink up: The garbage smelled up the yard.
1. the sense of smell; faculty of smelling.
2. the quality of a thing that is or may be smelled; odor; scent.
3. a trace or suggestion.
4. an act or instance of smelling.
5. a pervading appearance, character, quality, or influence: the smell of money.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.