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[stench] /stɛntʃ/
an offensive smell or odor; stink.
a foul quality.
Origin of stench
before 900; Middle English; Old English stenc odor (good or bad); akin to stink
Related forms
stenchful, adjective
See odor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for stench
  • The sickening stench of burned plastic permeated the air.
  • More corpses than the ground could accommodate resulted in the stench of decay and the constant risk of disease.
  • Visitors approaching the camp for the first time often retched from the stench.
  • Toward the end, gangrene could set in, rotting fingers and toes and driving away caregivers with the horrific stench.
  • Their stench has been compared to the scent of a thousand dead elephants rotting in the sun.
  • It lathers up great and will wash away the horrid stench from belly crawling through dungeons.
  • The sour stench of garbage and alcohol rose from the sidewalk in hot waves.
  • For those of us who are not as genetically prosperous, the stench of our much-beloved pooch may be the next best thing.
  • The stench of ammonia wafts from the group bathroom across the foyer.
  • For decades, the stench of the nearby refineries never seemed to concern city leaders here.
British Dictionary definitions for stench


a strong and extremely offensive odour; stink
Word Origin
Old English stenc; related to Old Saxon, Old High German stank; see stink
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 stench

Old English stenc "a smell" (either pleasant or unpleasant), from Proto-Germanic *stankwiz (cf. Old Saxon stanc, Old High German stanch, German stank). Related to stincan "emit a smell" (see stink) as drench is to drink. The notion of "evil smell" predominated from c.1200.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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