American English

Definition of scent noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable, countable] the pleasant smell that something has The air was filled with the scent of wild flowers. These flowers have no scent.
  2. 2[uncountable, countable, usually singular] the smell that a person or an animal leaves behind and that other animals such as dogs can follow synonym trail The dogs must have lost her scent. The hounds were now on the scent of (= following the smell of) the fox.
  3. 3[uncountable] (old-fashioned) a liquid with a pleasant smell that you wear on your skin to make it smell nice a bottle of scent She dabbed some scent on her neck.
  4. 4scent of something [singular] the feeling that something is present or is going to happen very soon The scent of victory was in the air. There is an unmistakeable scent of recovery in the air.
  5. Idioms
    on the scent (of something)
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    close to discovering something Scientists are on the scent of a cure.
    put/throw somebody off the scent
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    to do something to stop someone from finding you or discovering something She changed taxis to throw her pursuers off the scent.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: scent

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