- a distinctive odor, especially when agreeable: the scent of roses.
- an odor left in passing, by means of which an animal or person may be traced.
- a track or trail as or as if indicated by such an odor: The dogs lost the scent and the prisoner escaped.
- the sense of smell: a remarkably keen scent.
- small pieces of paper dropped by the hares in the game of hare and hounds.
verb (used with object)
- to perceive or recognize by or as if by the sense of smell: to scent trouble.
- to fill with an odor; perfume.
verb (used without object)
- to hunt by the sense of smell, as a hound.
- a distinctive smell, esp a pleasant one
- a smell left in passing, by which a person or animal may be traced
- a trail, clue, or guide
- an instinctive ability for finding out or detecting
- another word (esp Brit) for perfume
- (tr) to recognize or be aware of by or as if by the smell
- (tr) to have a suspicion of; detectI scent foul play
- (tr) to fill with odour or fragrance
- (intr) (of hounds, etc) to hunt by the sense of smell
- to smell (at)the dog scented the air
adj.1570s, “endowed with the power of smell;” 1740, “perfumed,” past participle adjective from scent (v.). v.late 14c., sent “to find the scent of,” from Old French sentir “to feel, smell, touch, taste; realize, perceive; make love to,” from Latin sentire ” to feel, perceive, sense, discern, hear, see” (see sense (n.)). Originally a hunting term. The -c- appeared 17c., perhaps by influence of ascent, descent, etc., or by influence of science. This was a tendency in early Modern English, cf. scythe, and also scite, scituate. Figurative use from 1550s. Transitive sense “impregnate with an odor, perfume” is from 1690s. Related: Scented; scenting. n.late 14c., “scent, smell, what can be smelled” (as a means of pursuit by a hound), from scent (v.). Almost always applied to agreeable odors. see throw off, def. 3.