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Denotation vs. Connotation

odor

or (especially British) odour

[oh-der] /ˈoʊ dər/
noun
1.
the property of a substance that activates the sense of smell:
to have an unpleasant odor.
2.
a sensation perceived by the sense of smell; scent.
3.
an agreeable scent; fragrance.
4.
a disagreeable smell.
5.
a quality or property characteristic or suggestive of something:
An odor of suspicion surrounded his testimony.
6.
repute:
in bad odor with the whole community.
7.
Archaic. something that has a pleasant scent.
Origin of odor
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Old French < Latin
Related forms
odorful, adjective
odorless, adjective
Synonyms
3. aroma, redolence, perfume. Odor, smell, scent, stench all refer to sensations perceived through the nose by the olfactory nerves. Odor and smell in literal contexts are often interchangeable. Figuratively, odor also usually occurs in positive contexts: the odor of sanctity. Smell is the most general and neutral of these two terms, deriving connotation generally from the context in which it is used: the tempting smell of fresh-baked bread; the rank smell of rotting vegetation. In figurative contexts smell may be either positive or negative: the sweet smell of success; a strong smell of duplicity pervading the affair. Scent refers either to delicate and pleasing aromas or to faint, barely perceptible smells: the scent of lilacs on the soft spring breeze; deer alarmed by the scent of man. Stench is strongly negative, referring both literally and figuratively to what is foul, sickening, or repulsive: the stench of rotting flesh; steeped in the stench of iniquity and treason.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for odor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The form may have been destroyed, but the taste and the odor do not perish.

  • A moment after, the odor of alcohol scented the little cabin.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • Into the depths of his concentration came the odor of tsin-tsin flowers, followed by the familiar, silkie voice of his arch-enemy.

    The Affair of the Brains Anthony Gilmore
  • But their humour, like the odor and smoke of gunjah, (hasheesh) was become stifling.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • It exhaled an odor of toy boxes of painted pine; it recalled the horrors of a New Year's Day.

    Against The Grain Joris-Karl Huysmans
British Dictionary definitions for odor

odor

/ˈəʊdə/
noun
1.
the US spelling of odour
Derived Forms
odorless, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for odor
n.

c.1300, from Anglo-French odour, from Old French odor "smell, perfume, fragrance" (12c., Modern French odeur) and directly from Latin odor "a smell, a scent" (pleasant or disagreeable), from PIE *od- "to smell" (cf. Latin olere "emit a smell, to smell of," with Sabine -l- for -d-; Greek ozein "to smell;" Armenian hotim "I smell;" Lithuanian uodziu "to smell").

Good or bad odor, in reference to repute, estimation, is from 1835. Odor of sanctity (1756) is from French odeur de sainteté (17c.) "sweet or balsamic scent said to be exhaled by the bodies of eminent saints at death or upon disinterment."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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odor in Medicine

odor o·dor (ō'dər)
n.

  1. The property or quality of a thing that affects, stimulates, or is perceived by the sense of smell.

  2. A sensation, stimulation, or perception of the sense of smell.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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5
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