Definition of petrichor in English:



mass noun
  • A pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.

    ‘other than the petrichor emanating from the rapidly drying grass, there was not a trace of evidence that it had rained at all’
    • ‘I am wondering if they will get the time and the open space to experience the petrichor in the air.’
    • ‘It's been raining for several days this week but our noses can't smell the petrichor because our showers are falling on saturated ground, ice filled pools, and grey piles of our most recent snowstorm's remnants.’
    • ‘Petrichor comes from atmospheric haze, which contains the terpenes, creosotes and other volatile compounds that emanate from plants.’
    • ‘One can almost smell the petrichor.’
    • ‘The musty, barky smell of fresh rain fallen on the dry earth is petrichor.’


1960s: blend of petro- ‘relating to rocks’ (the smell is believed to be caused by a liquid mixture of organic compounds which collects in the ground) and ichor.