a distinctive odor, especially when agreeable: the scent of roses.
an odor left in passing, by means of which an animal or person may be traced.
a track or trail as or as if indicated by such an odor: The dogs lost the scent and the prisoner escaped.
the sense of smell: a remarkably keen scent.
small pieces of paper dropped by the hares in the game of hare and hounds.
verb (used with object)
to perceive or recognize by or as if by the sense of smell: to scent trouble.
to fill with an odor; perfume.
verb (used without object)
to hunt by the sense of smell, as a hound.

1325–75; (v.) earlier sent, Middle English senten < Middle French sentir to smell < Latin sentīre to feel; (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v. Cf. sense

scentless, adjective
scentlessness, noun
nonscented, adjective
outscent, verb (used with object)
overscented, adjective
unscented, adjective
well-scented, adjective

cents, scents, sense.

1. See odor. 7. smell, sniff. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
scent (sɛnt)
1.  a distinctive smell, esp a pleasant one
2.  a smell left in passing, by which a person or animal may be traced
3.  a trail, clue, or guide
4.  an instinctive ability for finding out or detecting
5.  another word (esp Brit) for perfume
6.  (tr) to recognize or be aware of by or as if by the smell
7.  (tr) to have a suspicion of; detect: I scent foul play
8.  (tr) to fill with odour or fragrance
9.  (intr) (of hounds, etc) to hunt by the sense of smell
10.  to smell (at): the dog scented the air
[C14: from Old French sentir to sense, from Latin sentīre to feel; see sense]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1400, from O.Fr. sentir "to feel, perceive, smell," from L. sentire " to feel, perceive, sense" (see sense). Originally a hunting term. The -c- appeared 17c., perhaps by influence of ascent, descent, etc., or by influence of science. The noun is first recorded late 14c.
Almost always applied to agreeable odors.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see throw off, def. 3.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


the property of certain substances, in very small concentrations, to stimulate chemical sense receptors that sample the air or water surrounding an animal. In insects and other invertebrates and in aquatic animals, the perception of small chemical concentrations often merges with perception via contact of heavy concentrations (taste), and with other chemoreceptive specializations. See also smell.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences for +scent
Floral bouquet containing the combination of several flowers in a scent.
Although blinded, the raging monster pursues them by their scent.
Any ant that enters a colony without a matching scent will be attacked.
Beagles are scent hounds, developed primarily for tracking hare, rabbit, and
  other game.
Idioms & Phrases
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