Definition of stench in US English:



  • A strong and very unpleasant smell.

    ‘the stench of rotting fish’
    • ‘The stench from the river is so overpowering that even those desperate for water would shun it.’
    • ‘It's not that I have anything against smokers, just the stench that they inflict on us.’
    • ‘Since then houses in the area have been visited by a stench resembling rotting carcasses.’
    • ‘There were also good words for the breeze that has come to replace the stench.’
    • ‘Investigations led them to a cupboard where the stench seemed to be the strongest.’
    • ‘The breeding of mosquitoes, houseflies and other insects create a stench in the area.’
    • ‘An awful stench filled the stuffy air of the wet alleyway, which permeated my nostrils.’
    • ‘As unpleasant as it may seem, the dwellers had become accustomed to their surroundings and the unpleasant odor and stenches of the dirt, grim, mud, and rat droppings.’
    • ‘The disgusting smell of the medicine was drowned out by the stench of the cell, being as unhygienic as it was.’
    • ‘In the children's ward, the stench of dried sweat and raw waste is almost unbearable.’
    • ‘The stench currently assailing your nostrils is a fish rotting from the head down.’
    • ‘I lifted my jacket to my nose for a sniff - I could still smell the acrid stench of the gas.’
    • ‘They are grappling with the awful stench emanating from the filth the water has left behind.’
    • ‘She could smell the awful stench of alcohol coming from his mouth and closed her eyes in disgust.’
    • ‘For the rest of the day the stench pervaded the village centre, causing several people to be physically sick.’
    • ‘As he leapt to a tall tree that had been burnt on one side, he could smell a terrible stench.’
    • ‘At one time she had to endure the stench of mounting garbage as it wasn't collected for over two weeks.’
    • ‘The stench appeared the instant they walked in through the door and lingered for a good while after they had departed.’
    • ‘We had been forced to smile stiffly at the camera despite the nauseating stench of drying fish.’
    • ‘You could hear the moans and cries and smell the stench from well outside the tents.’
    stink, bad smell, foul smell, reek, miasma, effluvium
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Old English stenc ‘smell’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch stank, German Gestank, also to the verb stink.