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smelt1

[smelt] /smɛlt/
verb (used with object)
1.
to fuse or melt (ore) in order to separate the metal contained.
2.
to obtain or refine (metal) in this way.
Origin
1535-1545
1535-45; probably < Middle Dutch or Middle Low German smelten; cognate with German schmelzen to melt1, smelt

smelt2

[smelt] /smɛlt/
noun, plural (especially collectively) smelt (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) smelts.
1.
any of various small, silvery food fishes of the family Osmeridae, of cold northern waters, as the North American rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax.
2.
any of several superficially similar but unrelated fishes, especially certain silversides, of California.
Origin
before 900; Middle English, Old English; compare Norwegian smelta whiting

smelt3

[smelt] /smɛlt/
verb
1.
a simple past tense and past participle of smell.

smell

[smel] /smɛl/
verb (used with object), smelled or smelt, smelling.
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.
verb (used without object), smelled or smelt, smelling.
4.
to perceive something by its odor or scent.
5.
to search or investigate (followed by around or about).
6.
to give off or have an odor or scent:
Do the yellow roses smell?
7.
to give out an offensive odor; stink.
8.
to have a particular odor (followed by of):
My hands smell of fish.
9.
to have a trace or suggestion (followed by of).
10.
Informal. to be of inferior quality; stink:
The play is good, but the direction smells.
11.
Informal. to have the appearance or a suggestion of guilt or corruption:
They may be honest, but the whole situation smells.
noun
12.
the sense of smell; faculty of smelling.
13.
the quality of a thing that is or may be smelled; odor; scent.
14.
a trace or suggestion.
15.
an act or instance of smelling.
16.
a pervading appearance, character, quality, or influence:
the smell of money.
Verb phrases
17.
smell out, to look for or detect as if by smelling; search out:
to smell out enemy spies.
18.
smell up, to fill with an offensive odor; stink up:
The garbage smelled up the yard.
Idioms
19.
smell a rat. rat (def 6).
Origin
1125-75; early Middle English smell, smull (noun), smellen, smullen (v.) < ?
Related forms
smellable, adjective
smell-less, adjective
outsmell, verb (used with object), outsmelled or outsmelt, outsmelling.
unsmelled, adjective
unsmelling, adjective
Synonyms
13. See odor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for smelt
  • 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.
  • It's not uncommon to open a landlocked salmon's stomach and find several smelt inside, in various stages of decomposition.
  • Roe supposedly from flying fish was actually from smelt.
  • Some of the line officers have likewise smelt gunpowder.
  • So were our sushi selections, including smelt and yellowtail.
  • Roe purported to be from flying fish was actually from smelt.
  • Rose had smelt his breath and discerned only a chronic and lingering halitosis.
British Dictionary definitions for smelt

smelt1

/smɛlt/
verb
1.
(transitive) to extract (a metal) from (an ore) by heating
Word Origin
C15: from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch smelten; related to Old High German smelzan to melt

smelt2

/smɛlt/
noun (pl) smelt, smelts
1.
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
Word Origin
Old English smylt; related to Dutch, Danish smelt, Norwegian smelta, German Schmelz

smelt3

/smɛlt/
verb
1.
a past tense and past participle of smell

smell

/smɛl/
verb smells, smelling, smelt, smelled
1.
(transitive) 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.
(intransitive) often foll by of. to emit an odour (of): the park smells of flowers
4.
(intransitive) to emit an unpleasant odour; stink
5.
(transitive) often foll by out. to detect through shrewdness or instinct
6.
(intransitive) to have or use the sense of smell; sniff
7.
(intransitive) foll by of. to give indications (of): he smells of money
8.
(intransitive; 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
noun
11.
that sense (olfaction) by which scents or odours are perceived related adjective olfactory
12.
anything detected by the sense of smell; odour; scent
13.
a trace or indication
14.
the act or an instance of smelling
Derived Forms
smeller, noun
Word Origin
C12: of uncertain origin; compare Middle Dutch smölen to scorch
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 smelt
v.

mid-15c. (implied in smelter), from Dutch or Low German smelten, from Proto-Germanic *smelt- (cf. Old High German smelzan, German schmelzen "to melt"), from PIE *smeld-, variant of *mel- "soft." Thus the word is from a variant of the stem of Old English meltan "to melt" (see melt (v.)). Related: Smelted; smelting.

n.

Old English smelt "sardine, small salmon-like sea fish," cognate with Dutch smelt "sand eel," Danish 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. Century Dictionary speculates it means "smooth" and compares Old English smeolt, smylt "serene, smooth."

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.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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smelt in Medicine

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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smelt in Science
smelt
  (smělt)   
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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Slang definitions & phrases for smelt

smell

verb
  1. To be nasty and contemptible; stink, suck: The whole damn situation smells (1933+)
  2. To take narcotics by inhaling; sniff: You must be smelling the stuff (1949+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with smelt
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for smelt

smell

the detection and identification by sensory organs of airborne chemicals. The concept of smell, as it applies to humans, becomes less distinct when invertebrates and lower vertebrates (fish and amphibians) are considered, because many lower animals detect chemicals in the environment by means of receptors in various locations on the body, and no invertebrate possesses a chemoreceptive structure resembling the vertebrate nasal cavity. For this reason, many authorities prefer to regard smell as distance chemoreception and taste as contact chemoreception.

Learn more about smell with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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