Definition of fetid in English:


(British foetid)


  • Smelling extremely unpleasant.

    ‘the fetid water of the marsh’
    • ‘In the wards, children are crowded two and three in a bed in airless rooms, foetid with the smell of kerosene heaters.’
    • ‘She lived and worked night after night in stinking tenements and foetid shelters packed with unwashed humans.’
    • ‘I stumbled to the swamp and drank the fetid water, coughing half of it back up again.’
    • ‘By the early hours of Sunday morning the fire was under control but days later the streets around the city's southside were blocked off and the air was fetid with the smell of damp smoke.’
    • ‘The councillors pointed out everyone knew cholera was due to miasma, the rising of bad smells from the foetid surrounds.’
    • ‘The fetid sour smell of garlic, garum and stale wine on his breath overwhelmed Yohanna and she gasped for air.’
    • ‘He warned that the fetid water could spread disease and that natural gas was leaking all over town.’
    • ‘These were not only a pleasure to look down upon from a bedroom window but sent up clouds of agreeable smells to mitigate the fetid interiors.’
    • ‘It smelled of fetid water and decaying food; the French Quarter was quiet for the first time in hundreds of years.’
    • ‘The dog snapped its jaws open and closed inches from Rae's face and he could smell the animal's fetid breath, choking him, causing him to gag.’
    • ‘What yesterday had been a hog lot, was now a small, fetid swamp, water bubbling up in the middle.’
    • ‘The water had become fetid, he explained, and he'd lost two crocodiles in as many years.’
    • ‘And pot smoke lends a piquant tinge to the smell of fetid sweat.’
    • ‘Even in the fetid water of a city canal there are ducks and the occasional rainbow.’
    • ‘Down the embankment, paddle through four inches of fetid water and soon we were engulfed by darkness.’
    • ‘We are all facing death, these movies say, and when we smell its fetid breath we have only two choices.’
    • ‘They are still no showers for people who have walked for hours through fetid waters.’
    • ‘Hog waste is a major pollution source, communities surrounding the factories are strangled by a foetid stench and animal rights groups have long complained about the inhumane way pigs are raised and slaughtered.’
    • ‘None of the plants can be seen from the interstate, but their presence is betrayed by the fetid smell of factory effluents.’
    • ‘The spectre of disease also haunted recovery efforts with doctors fearing the foetid waters and squalid conditions in shelters could breed cholera or typhoid, or mosquitoes carrying malaria or West Nile virus.’
    stinking, smelly, foul-smelling, evil-smelling, malodorous, stinking to high heaven, reeking, pungent, acrid, high, rank, foul, unpleasant, nasty, noxious
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Late Middle English: from Latin fetidus (often erroneously spelled foetidus), from fetere ‘to stink’. Compare with fetor.