Definition of scent noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//sent//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sent//
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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] (especially British English) 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. Word Originlate Middle English (denoting the sense of smell): from Old French sentir ‘perceive, smell’, from Latin sentire. The addition of -c- (in the 17th cent.) is unexplained.Extra examples From the vine outside came the scent of honey. One of the hounds had picked up the scent of a fox. She dabbed some scent on her wrists. She reeked of cheap scent. The air was filled with the scent of lilac. The cat had left its scent on the sofa. The dog was on the scent of a rabbit. The flowers give off a heady scent at night. The hounds have the scent. The scent of incense lingered in the air. This flower has no scent. the fresh scent of flowers the heavy scent of Indian cooking Apple blossom has a delicate scent. Most flying insects are attracted by various scents. The hounds were now on the scent of the fox.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 somebody from finding you or discovering something She changed taxis to throw her pursuers off the scent.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: scent

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