1 [smelt]

1535–45; probably < Middle Dutch or Middle Low German smelten; cognate with German schmelzen to melt1, smelt Unabridged


2 [smelt]
noun, plural (especially collectively) smelt (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) smelts.
any of various small, silvery food fishes of the family Osmeridae, of cold northern waters, as the North American rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax.
any of several superficially similar but unrelated fishes, especially certain silversides, of California.

before 900; Middle English, Old English; compare Norwegian smelta whiting


3 [smelt]
a simple past tense and past participle of smell.


verb (used with object), smelled or smelt, smelling.
to perceive the odor or scent of through the nose by means of the olfactory nerves; inhale the odor of: I smell something burning.
to test by the sense of smell: She smelled the meat to see if it was fresh.
to perceive, detect, or discover by shrewdness or sagacity: The detective smelled foul play.
verb (used without object), smelled or smelt, smelling.
to perceive something by its odor or scent.
to search or investigate (followed by around or about ).
to give off or have an odor or scent: Do the yellow roses smell?
to give out an offensive odor; stink.
to have a particular odor (followed by of ): My hands smell of fish.
to have a trace or suggestion (followed by of ).
Informal. to be of inferior quality; stink: The play is good, but the direction smells.
Informal. to have the appearance or a suggestion of guilt or corruption: They may be honest, but the whole situation smells.
the sense of smell; faculty of smelling.
the quality of a thing that is or may be smelled; odor; scent.
a trace or suggestion.
an act or instance of smelling.
a pervading appearance, character, quality, or influence: the smell of money.
Verb phrases
smell out, to look for or detect as if by smelling; search out: to smell out enemy spies.
smell up, to fill with an offensive odor; stink up: The garbage smelled up the yard.
smell a rat. rat ( def 6 ).

1125–75; early Middle English smell, smull (noun), smellen, smullen (v.) < ?

smellable, adjective
smell-less, adjective
outsmell, verb (used with object), outsmelled or outsmelt, outsmelling.
unsmelled, adjective
unsmelling, adjective

13. See odor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
smell (smɛl)
vb (often foll by of) (often foll by out) (foll by of) , smells, smelling, smelt, smelled
1.  (tr) to perceive the scent or odour of (a substance) by means of the olfactory nerves
2.  (copula) to have a specified smell; appear to the sense of smell to be: the beaches smell of seaweed; some tobacco smells very sweet
3.  to emit an odour (of): the park smells of flowers
4.  (intr) to emit an unpleasant odour; stink
5.  to detect through shrewdness or instinct
6.  (intr) to have or use the sense of smell; sniff
7.  to give indications (of): he smells of money
8.  (intr; foll by around, about, etc) to search, investigate, or pry
9.  (copula) to be or seem to be untrustworthy or corrupt
10.  smell a rat to detect something suspicious
11.  that sense (olfaction) by which scents or odours are perceivedRelated: olfactory
12.  anything detected by the sense of smell; odour; scent
13.  a trace or indication
14.  the act or an instance of smelling
Related: olfactory
[C12: of uncertain origin; compare Middle Dutch smölen to scorch]

smelt1 (smɛlt)
(tr) to extract (a metal) from (an ore) by heating
[C15: from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch smelten; related to Old High German smelzan to melt]

smelt2 (smɛlt)
n , pl smelt, smelts
any marine or freshwater salmonoid food fish of the family Osmeridae, such as Osmerus eperlanus of Europe, having a long silvery body and occurring in temperate and cold northern waters
[Old English smylt; related to Dutch, Danish smelt, Norwegian smelta, German Schmelz]

smelt3 (smɛlt)
a past tense and past participle of smell

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.1175, "emit or perceive an odor," also n., "odor, aroma, stench," not found in O.E., perhaps cognate with M.Du. smolen, Low Ger. smelen "to smolder" (see smolder). OED says "no doubt of O.E. origin, but not recorded, and not represented in any of the cognate languages."
Ousted O.E. stenc (see stench) in most senses. Someone should revive smell-feast (n.) "one who scents out where free food is to be had" (1519, "very common" c.1540-1700, OED) and smell-smock "licentious man" (c.1550-1900). To smell a rat "be suspicious" is from 1550.

1455 (implied in smelter), from Du. or Low Ger. smelten, cognate with O.H.G. smelzan, Ger. schmelzen "to melt;" apparently a variant of the stem of O.E. meltan "to melt" (see melt).

O.E. smelt "small salmon-like sea fish," cognate with Du. smelt "sand eel," Dan. smelt (c.1600). OED notes that it has a peculiar odor (but doesn't suggest a connection with smell); Klein suggests a connection with the way the fish melts in one's mouth.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

smell (směl)
v. smelled or smelt (smělt), smell·ing, smells
To perceive the scent of something by means of the olfactory nerves. n.
The sense by which odors are perceived; the olfactory sense.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
smelt   (smělt)  Pronunciation Key 
To melt ores in order to extract the metals they contain. Oxide ores, such as iron ore, are smelted with carbon, which serves as a fuel and changes the ore into a reduced metal.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Serve each smelt with deep-fried parsley and lemon wedge.
But for certain the public-sector unions have smelt both money and an
  approaching general election.
And being terrestrial, since you can't smelt iron underwater.
If you live near a coastal town, head to the docks-fresh anchovies and smelt
  are often sold as bait.
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