Definition of aromatic in English:



  • 1Having a pleasant and distinctive smell.

    ‘a massage with aromatic oils’
    • ‘‘It has a pungent yet aromatic smell to it,’ said Jonas.’
    • ‘She opened the door and was greeted with an aromatic smell.’
    • ‘The former has aromatic leaves, which smell of balsam or pine, and pale pink flowers’.’
    • ‘Baghel's pretty wife, Savitri, prepared an aromatic curry of coriander leaves, onions and potatoes.’
    • ‘They used wonderful aromatic oils and could make you warm from head to toe by exerting pressure on just the right bones and muscles for a short time.’
    • ‘Besides the aromatic oils and dried flowers, the shop sells rarer products such as seeds and bonsai.’
    • ‘I return, solo, to my villa to find it dimmed, lit with tiny candles and aromatic oil lamps, a bottle of chilled wine waiting and massage oils just beside my bed whose satin sheets are awash with blossoms.’
    • ‘Dilute the body oil half-and-half with water, plug the shower drain and, while showering, sprinkle in more of the same aromatic oil as the water collects.’
    • ‘The limes are quartered, steamed, combined with oil fragrant with aromatic spices, vinegar and salt then stored in airtight jars.’
    • ‘When you walk into a home where the air is tinged with aromatic spices and sweet smelling delicacies, your mouth waters and you feel an insatiable hunger.’
    • ‘This handsome plant has striking blue flowers in a spike on the stem and pleasantly aromatic leaves when crushed.’
    • ‘Tobacco is a sweet smelling product of the aromatic leaves of the Nicotina plant, but contains carcinogenic and highly addictive substances like nicotine, tar and benzene.’
    • ‘The first one, a mixture of tofu, broccoli, carrot, lotus root, mushroom and a key seasoning - aromatic sesame oil - was appealing in its colours and tasted like a rather salty salad.’
    • ‘Gardens smell different now, the pungency of aromatic foliage becomes more prominent with less competition from perfumed flowers.’
    • ‘It has small, pointed, dark green aromatic leaves that have a herby, peppery flavour and are delicious in bean and pulse dishes.’
    • ‘She poured herself more tea, smelling the aromatic scent.’
    • ‘It was a beautiful evening on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico in February 2003 and the aromatic smell of a barbecue was still lingering in the warm night air.’
    • ‘The smell should be pleasantly aromatic, not suggestive of incipient fermentation.’
    • ‘I want to feel the fruits one by one, test the quality of the skin, sniff the aromatic oils that tell me an orange is going to be a delight rather than a dull, routine element consumed to satisfy dietary needs only.’
    • ‘You can buy small bottles of aromatic oils from speciality shops.’
    fragrant, scented, sweet-scented, sweet-smelling, perfumed, fragranced, odoriferous
    View synonyms
  • 2Chemistry
    Relating to or denoting organic compounds containing a planar unsaturated ring of atoms which is stabilized by an interaction of the bonds forming the ring, e.g. benzene and its derivatives.

    Compare with alicyclic
    • ‘The raw materials for today's dyes are mainly aromatic hydrocarbons: benzene, toluene, naphthalene, anthracene, pyrene, and others.’
    • ‘Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are a class of organic compounds having two or more fused aromatic ring structures each based on the structure of benzene.’
    • ‘Its molecular structure of alternating aromatic rings and amide groups crosslinked by hydrogen bonding makes it incredibly strong.’
    • ‘The aromatic aldehydes have a benzene or phenyl ring connected to the aldehyde group.’
    • ‘In aromatic compounds (ring molecules) the substitution may be of one of the hydrogens on the ring structure itself.’
    • ‘However, after isomerization, the planarity is lost, presumably due to intermolecular effects as well as steric hindrance between the carbonyl oxygen and the aromatic ring atoms.’


  • 1A substance or plant emitting a pleasant and distinctive smell.

    • ‘Wal-Mart Korea has created a ‘wellness’ corner in its supermarkets, selling vitamins, herb tea, wine, aromatics and yoga books.’
    • ‘Once seared, the shells remain in the pan to simmer gently with stock, aromatics, brandy, and rice; all the while, the broth absorbs these same complex notes of the crustacean.’
    • ‘It was clean and straightforward, but a bit too plain (I wanted to add more aromatics, herbs, a clove or two of garlic even).’
    • ‘The dals, made from legumes like lentils or chickpeas, cooked as a stew flavored with aromatics and spices, are perhaps familiar to most of us who visit Indian restaurants.’
    • ‘Contrary to what many believe, delicious rice can be done in just minutes by simply sautéing a few aromatics, like peppers, onions and garlic, adding to rice with some chicken or vegetable stock and simmering until it's cooked.’
    • ‘I recently ordered the chicken roti, a thin wrap not dissimilar to a flour tortilla but flakier, stuffed to bursting with a spicy blend of chicken, vegetables and aromatics.’
    • ‘There are also some permanent plants in the beds - mostly aromatics like lavender and salvia.’
    • ‘The Spice Project wants to develop a visitor, education and shopping centre there with spices, herbs and aromatics as its theme.’
    • ‘In the French kitchen, favoured aromatics are garlic, rosemary, and juniper berries; some regional dishes combine pork with apples or prunes.’
    • ‘Only purists like Shafiq Miyan insist that nothing should adulterate the good old ishtoo - no spices or aromatics - just the meat on bones, onions, chillies and salt.’
    • ‘Thick, juicy cod fillets are steamed over water that is intensely flavoured with a medley of spices, fresh herbs and aromatics.’
    • ‘The ingredients, spices, and aromatics are placed in the tagine with a mere spoonful of water.’
    • ‘Meat, fish, or chicken dishes are placed in tagine vessels with spices, aromatics, and a mere spoon of water.’
    • ‘Even the briefest time spent in a marinade of appropriate aromatics - in this case garlic, rosemary and lemon - will add much in terms of flavour.’
    • ‘For skate in black butter, you begin by poaching the wings in salted, lightly vinegared water with herbs (dill, fennel) and aromatics (bay, onion) for ten minutes until it becomes opaque, then drain it.’
    • ‘Some recipes call for an actual agrodolce sauce, made by reducing wine vinegar and sugar and a few aromatics such a bay leaves, garlic, onion and herbs.’
    • ‘Thirteen different types of evergreens were selected, including ivy and blue grass, and aromatics such as mint and rosemary.’
    • ‘Fry until they are golden and sizzling, then return the chicken, its aromatics and juices to the pan.’
    • ‘Toss the vegetables around gently in the sauce and aromatics, then serve with the coriander rice.’
    • ‘If you want the cider to also deter insects, gently steep some tomato leaves therein along with other strong aromatics like cedar.’
  • 2Chemistry
    An aromatic compound.

    • ‘Dyson and Welton used water and ionic liquid soluble organometallic clusters and complexes to catalyse hydrogenation of the aromatics.’
    • ‘Two axes, of particular interest, are the aromatics (benzene like compounds) and sulphur, i.e. both are zero.’
    • ‘The three major classes are aliphatics, alicyclics, and aromatics.’
    • ‘These are complex mixtures of paraffinic, aromatics and naphthenic hydrocarbon type molecules, ranging in carbon number from 14 to 40 +.’
    • ‘Unlike hydrocarbon based aromatics, which react most readily with electrophiles, perfluoro-aromatics and heterocyclic ring systems react better with nucleophiles.’
    • ‘The female urine markers consist of more than 100 compounds, a much more complex mixture than the male glandular scents, which are mainly fatty acids and aromatics.’


Late Middle English: via Old French from late Latin aromaticus, from Greek arōmatikos, from arōma (see aroma).