—smellable, adj. —smell-less, adj./smel/, v., smelled or smelt, smelling, n.v.t.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.v.i.4. to perceive something by its odor or scent.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 (fol. by of): My hands smell of fish.9. to have a trace or suggestion (fol. 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.13. smell out, to look for or detect as if by smelling; search out: to smell out enemy spies.14. smell up, to fill with an offensive odor; stink up: The garbage smelled up the yard.n.15. the sense of smell; faculty of smelling.16. the quality of a thing that is or may be smelled; odor; scent.17. a trace or suggestion.18. an act or instance of smelling.19. a pervading appearance, character, quality, or influence: the smell of money.[1125-75; early ME smell, smull (n.), smellen, smullen (v.) < ?]
* * *▪ sensealso called Olfaction,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 (receptor) 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.Olfaction by air-breathing vertebrates depends primarily on chemically sensitive nerves with endings in the lining ( epithelium) of the nasal cavity. Mammals such as carnivores, which rely heavily on the sense of smell for locating food or for warning against predators, have intricately curled turbinal (nasal concha) bones (which support the nasal epithelium), providing greater surface area, thus increasing olfactory sensitivity.In addition to the nasal epithelium, Jacobson's organ, located in the roof of the mouth, also serves for chemoreception in some animals. See also chemoreception; nose; perception.
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