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smell (v.)

late 12c., "emit or perceive an odor," not found in Old English, perhaps cognate with Middle Dutch smolen, Low German smelen "to smolder" (see smolder). However, OED says "no doubt of Old English origin, but not recorded, and not represented in any of the cognate languages." Related: Smelled or smelt; smelling.

Smelling salts (1840), used to revive the woozy, typically were a scented preparation of carbonate of ammonia. Smell-feast (n.) "one who finds and frequents good tables, one who scents out where free food is to be had" is from 1510s ("very common" c. 1540-1700, OED). Smell-smock "licentious man" was in use c. 1550-c. 1900. To smell a rat "be suspicious" is from 1540s.

smell (n.)

"odor, aroma, stench," late 12c.; "faculty of perceiving by the nose," c. 1200; see smell (v.). Ousted Old English stenc (see stench) in most senses.

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Definitions of smell from WordNet
1
smell (v.)
inhale the odor of; perceive by the olfactory sense;
smell (v.)
emit an odor;
The soup smells good
smell (v.)
smell bad;
He rarely washes, and he smells
smell (v.)
have an element suggestive (of something);
this passage smells of plagiarism
Synonyms: smack / reek
smell (v.)
become aware of not through the senses but instinctively;
smell out corruption
I smell trouble
Synonyms: smell out / sense
2
smell (n.)
the sensation that results when olfactory receptors in the nose are stimulated by particular chemicals in gaseous form;
she loved the smell of roses
Synonyms: odor / odour / olfactory sensation / olfactory perception
smell (n.)
any property detected by the olfactory system;
Synonyms: olfactory property / aroma / odor / odour / scent
smell (n.)
the general atmosphere of a place or situation and the effect that it has on people;
it had the smell of treason
Synonyms: spirit / tone / feel / feeling / flavor / flavour / look
smell (n.)
the faculty that enables us to distinguish scents;
Synonyms: sense of smell / olfaction / olfactory modality
smell (n.)
the act of perceiving the odor of something;
Synonyms: smelling
From wordnet.princeton.edu